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Myriad Genetics rises on 3Q and stronger outlook

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Myriad Genetics Inc. rose Wednesday after the test maker reported a stronger profit and higher sales in the first quarter and raised its estimates for the full year.

THE SPARK: The Salt Lake City company said Tuesday its net income rose 28 percent to $37.9 million, or 46 cents per share. Revenue grew 21 percent to $156.5 million.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share on $148.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

For the quarter ended March 31, Myriad said total diagnostic testing revenue grew 20 percent to $148.4 million. Revenue from its BRACAnalysis breast and ovarian cancer test rose 9 percent to $115.4 million. The company also reported greater revenue from its Prolaris prostate cancer test, which was approved in 2012.

BRACAnalysis looks for mutations on the breast cancer predisposition gene, or BRCA. Women with mutations on that gene have a three- to seven-times greater risk of developing breast cancer and also a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

THE BIG PICTURE: Myriad now expects to earn $1.65 to $1.67 per share this fiscal year on $595 million to $600 million in revenue. Previously it expected earnings of $1.55 to $1.58 per share on revenue of $575 million to $585 million.

Analysts expected $1.58 per share on $583.6 million in revenue.

The company said revenue should grow in the low double digits in fiscal 2014, which starts July 1. That implies revenue of at least $660 million.

Analysts expect Myriad to report $635.9 million in revenue for that fiscal year, 9 percent above their estimates for fiscal 2013.

In mid-April the Supreme Court heard a case related to the patenting of human genes: the case challenges two patents Myriad holds on genes related to the BRACAnalysis test. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have argued that the government shouldn't award patents on genes. The Patent & Trademark office has been awarding such patents for decades.

A ruling is expected by June. Analysts expect Myriad's patents to be upheld and note that even if the Supreme Court invalidates the patents, the company has other patents supporting the test.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Myriad rose $1.95, or 7 percent, to $30.25 in midday trading. The shares have risen 15 percent over the last month and have traded between $22.02 and $31.80 in the last year.