Shire Fourth-Quarter Earnings Exceed Analysts' Expectation

  • 2016 earnings per ADS projected to grow by 7% to 10%
  • Drugmaker says 14 programs are in or near Phase 3 test stage

Shire Plc, the drugmaker that agreed to buy Baxalta Inc. for $32 billion last month, posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as it sold more drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and rare diseases.

Earnings per American depositary shares rose to $2.97, the Dublin-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That compared with the $2.85 average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Shire projected that the earnings, following its January acquisition of Dyax Corp., would grow by 7 percent to 10 percent in 2016.

Shares of Shire dropped 1.5 percent to 3,514 pence as of 4:30 p.m. in London trading. The stock has dropped 25 percent this year.

Sales of several rare disease drugs -- including Elaprase, Cinryze, Replagal and Vpriv -- missed analysts’ estimates last quarter. This year, growth in revenue of Vpriv and Elaprase may be at the same pace as 2015, though the company is more optimistic about Replagal, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Poulton told analysts on a conference call Thursday.

Growing demand from adults for Vyvanse, its top-selling attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder drug, and regulatory approval last year for use of the same medicine to treat binge eating helped offset those misses. Buying Baxalta, a market leader in drugs to treat hemophilia, would pare Shire’s dependence on Vyvanse and may add another $20 billion in sales by 2020.

Shire’s revenue climbed 9 percent in the quarter to $1.72 billion, and compared with analysts’ estimates of $1.69 billion. Operating income climbed 17 percent to $764 million, surpassing the estimate of $716.3 million.

Acquisitions announced by Shire in the past year:

  • Baxalta in January for $32 billion; deal is still pending completion
  • Dyax in November for at least $5.9 billion
  • Foresight Biotherapeutics in August for $300 million
  • NPS Pharmaceuticals in January 2014 for $5.2 billion
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