Biogen Idec Inc., the world’s largest maker of medicines for multiple sclerosis, declined in early trading after the drugmaker forecast 2012 earnings that were less than analysts estimated.
Biogen dropped 1.2 percent to $115.21 as of 8:12 a.m., before markets opened in New York. The shares of the Weston, Massachusetts-based company had gained 79 percent in the last 12 months through yesterday.
Earnings excluding some items will be between $6.10 and $6.20 a share, Biogen said today in a statement. Twenty-four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated profit on that basis of $6.31 a share, on average. Revenue will grow in the “low to mid-single digits,” Biogen said.
“2012 earnings-per-share guidance is a bit below consensus (revenue roughly in-line), but we think this was generally expected by many investors,” Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group Inc. in New York, wrote in a note to clients today. “Biogen has telegraphed that 2012 would be an ‘investment year’ for the late 2012/2013 launches of BG-12/hemophilia.”
Biogen is preparing to apply for regulatory approval of BG-12, its first pill for MS, and expects data this year from late-stage trials of medicines for hemophilia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The company forecast research and development spending this year would total as much as 25 percent of revenue, compared with 23 percent estimated by analysts, Schoenebaum said.