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Alexion 1Q income rises as Soliris sales improve

CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s net income jumped 81 percent in the first quarter on greater sales of Soliris, the company's only approved drug.

Alexion said Thursday that sales of Soliris sales grew 38 percent to $338.9 million during the quarter. It raised its net income and revenue forecasts for the full year, and shares of Alexion rose more than 5 percent in morning trading.

Soliris was approved in 2007 as a treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, which causes a breakdown of red blood cells and leads to anemia. It was approved in 2011 as a treatment for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, which often leads to kidney failure and death.

The company said its net income grew to $82.2 million, or 41 cents per share, from $45.4 million, or 23 cents per share. Excluding one-time items the company said its net income totaled 65 cents per share. Revenue rose to $338.9 million from $244.7 million.

Analysts were expecting net income of 60 cents per share and $336.4 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

For the full year Alexion now expects to report adjusted net income of $2.87 to $2.97 per share and $1.51 billion to $1.52 billion in revenue in 2013. Its previous forecast called for income of $2.82 to $2.92 per share on revenue of $1.49 billion to $1.51 billion.

Analysts were estimating net income of $2.90 per share and $1.51 billion in revenue on average.

Shares of Alexion rose $5.18, or 5.8 percent, to $94.41 in morning trading.