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Ahead of the Bell: Medivation shares sink

The Associated Press

Medivation Inc. tumbled in premarket trading Friday, a day after the drugmaker forecast 2014 revenue from its prostate cancer treatment Xtandi that fell short of analyst expectations.

The San Francisco company said Thursday that it expects 2014 U.S. revenue from Xtandi to fall between $500 million and $535 million.

The pill was approved in 2012 for men whose cancer has spread despite treatment with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. Medivation also is studying the drug as a possible treatment for patients before chemotherapy, a broader use that would boost sales.

The company expects to submit an application for that expanded use to U.S. and European regulators earlier this year. Medivation developed Xtandi with financial and research support from Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharmaceuticals. The companies share the marketing costs and profits from the drug.

Analysts labeled Medivation's Xtandi forecast conservative. Jefferies analyst Biren Amin said, for instance, that he expected $866 million.

Amin said the forecast implied very modest growth for Xtandi's approved use with little contribution from the expanded use until it receives approval, likely at the end of the third quarter. He lowered his rating on the shares to "hold" from "buy" and dropped his price target to $80 from $89.

The forecast overshadowed a better-than-expected quarter.

Medivation also said Thursday that it earned about $2.8 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter. That compares to a loss of $31.7 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Its collaboration revenue soared to $96.6 million from $37.2 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, a loss of 7 cents per share on $73.6 million in revenue.

The stock was down 12 percent, to $10.19, to $74.33 Friday, less than an hour before markets opened.