Shire 4Q profit soars 55 percent behind drug sales

The Associated Press

Shire Plc.'s fourth quarter net income jumped 55 percent because of strong sales growth for several key drugs.

The Irish pharmaceutical company said Thursday that sales of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment Adderall XR shot up 40 percent to $125 million, while sales of the ADHD drug Vyvanse rose 20 percent to $217 million. Sales of Elaprase, a treatment for the genetic disorder Hunter syndrome, rose 17 percent to $124 million.

Overall, the company earned $255.3 million, or $1.33 per American depositary share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with net income of $165.1 million, or 88 cents per U.S.-traded share, in the final quarter of 2010.

Adjusted earnings were $1.51 per U.S. share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, $1.36.

Revenue climbed 23 percent to $1.14 billion, topping analysts' estimate of $1.11 billion.

Shire's product sales rose 23 percent to $1.05 billion, while royalties rose 14 percent to $83.7 million. The company's operating expenses also rose 14 percent in the quarter to $838.2 million.

For the full year, Shire earned $865 million, or $4.53 per ADS, as revenue climbed 23 percent to $4.26 billion, topping $4 billion for the first time.

U.S. traded shares of Shire added 25 cents to $103.68 in late morning trading Thursday.