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Genentech Shares Rise on Strong Drug Sales

April 17, 2001|From Reuters

Shares of Genentech Inc. rose 5% on Monday after the biotechnology company late last week reported unexpectedly strong first-quarter sales of its cancer treatments.

The stock rose $2.35 to close at $48 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We have been focusing on Genentech's strong pipeline, but the good news here was in the company's current market of products," said Cory Kasimov, an analyst at Gruntal & Co.

After the stock market closed Thursday, South San Francisco-based Genentech reported first-quarter net income before charges of $91.2 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, on revenue of $540.1 million. It earned $76 million, or 14 cents, on revenue of $387.9 million in the year-earlier quarter.

U.S. financial markets were closed Friday.

The quarterly profit matched analysts' estimates, but sales growth was stronger than expected.

"Product sales for the quarter soared to $392 million, cleanly beating our estimate of $352 million. Sales growth was driven by impressive Rituxan sales of $172 million and Herceptin sales of $81 million, both of which easily beat our estimates," Jay Silverman, an analyst at Robertson Stephens, said in a report Monday.

Genentech said sales of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment Rituxan rose 102% from the same 2000 quarter, while sales of breast cancer drug Herceptin rose 18%.

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