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Acorda returns to 1Q profit as MS drug sales grow

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. (AP) -- Drug developer Acorda Therapeutics Inc. said Thursday that it returned to a first-quarter profit from a year-ago loss, as sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra increased and it booked more royalty revenue.

But Amprya revenue fell shy of analysts' expectations, and the Hawthorne, N.Y., company's stock slipped 6 percent.

Acorda earned $7.8 million, or 19 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $672,000, or 2 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

Revenue climbed 16 percent to nearly $71.3 million. Amprya, which was launched in March 2010, accounted for most of that revenue. Sales of the MS drug rose 23 percent to $57.4 million. Royalty revenue more than tripled to $3.3 million from about $96,000.

Analysts had forecast net income of 14 cents per share on $71.7 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

However, analyst Dr. Jon LeCroy of MKM Partners expected $60.5 million in Amprya sales and noted that the drug's sales were flat compared with 2011's fourth quarter.

LeCroy said in a research note that generic competition hurt Acorda's spasticity drug Zanaflex more than he expected. Its $8 million in sales fell about 24 percent below his estimate.

"Overall, we view it as a negative quarter due to the sales miss," LeCroy wrote, adding that he lowered his price target on the stock to $30 from $34.

Company shares fell $1.53 to close at $23.99.