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Acquisitions help Jazz Pharma 4Q profit soar

The Associated Press

Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC's fourth-quarter earnings soared, as the Irish drugmaker's revenue swelled due to acquisitions and sales growth for its narcolepsy treatment Xyrem.

The Dublin-based company also said Tuesday after markets closed that it had a deal to develop and sell a key compound in Xyrem, a move that could strengthen the company's patent protection of the drug.

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, Jazz reported net income of $200.6 million, or $3.28 per share, up from $37.5 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings in last year's quarter totaled $1.53 per share.

Revenue more than doubled to $183.7 million from $80.9 million a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of $1.40 per share on $182.4 million in revenue.

Last June, Jazz said it completed its purchase of cancer drug maker EUSA Pharma for $650 million. In January, Jazz completed its all-stock acquisition of privately held Azur Pharma Ltd., a combination that created a specialty drug company headquartered in Dublin. Jazz was based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Jazz said the acquisitions helped drive its revenue increase. Xyrem sales climbed 58 percent to $113.5 million compared to last year's quarter.

The acquisitions also contributed to steep growth in operating expenses to $116.3 million from $45.8 million.

For the full year, Jazz earned $288.6 million, or $4.79 per share, up from $125 million, or $2.67 per share, a year earlier, Annual revenue rose to $586 million from $272.3 million a year ago.

Jazz said it expects adjusted earnings to range between $5.70 and $5.90 per share in 2013 on revenue ranging from $805 million to $835 million. Analysts expect earnings, on average, of $5.72 per share on $805.2 million in revenue.

Jazz said it reached an agreement with Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. that gives Jazz worldwide rights to develop and sell Concert's deuterium-modified sodium oxybate compounds. Sodium oxybate is the active ingredient in Xyrem.

Brean Capital analyst Gene Mack said in a research note the deal strengthens Jazz's patent protection for Xyrem, and it also could allow for once-daily dosing of the drug.

U.S.-traded shares of the company climbed 2.1 percent, or $1.17, to $58 before the markets opened Wednesday.