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Myriad's 4Q profit up 51 percent

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Myriad Genetics Inc. reported Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income increased 51 percent on higher sales of its diagnostic tests.

The Salt Lake City-based company, which is known for its test for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, also issued a solid forecast for this year. It plans to launch three new tests. Shares rose in aftermarket trading.

The company earned $44.1 million, or 53 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That is up from $29.1 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Its revenue increased 31 percent to $174.1 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were anticipating earnings of 44 cents per share on revenue of $159.5 million.

The bulk of the company's revenue for the period, 74 percent, came from its BRACAnalysis test, which confirms the presence of two gene mutations that are responsible for some hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Revenue from this product increased 19 percent to $129.6 million.

Myriad's efforts to control costs also helped increase its operating margins to 37.9 percent from 35.6 percent last year. Margins measure how much revenue a company keeps in profit.

The company said that it expects to earn between $1.87 and $1.94 per share for the fiscal year on revenue of $690 million to $710 million. Analysts were expecting $1.87 per share on revenue of $664.8 million for the year, which runs through June 2014.

The forecast includes $10 million in anticipated spending on patent litigation.

Myriad has sued two privately held competitors to stop them from selling a genetic test that competes with BRACAnalysis. The companies launched their tests in June following a Supreme Court ruling that companies cannot patent genes that are naturally found in the body, a ruling that analysts say will open the door for competing tests and additional scientific research. The court said synthetically created genetic material, called complementary or cDNA, can be patented.

Myriad's shares plunged after the Supreme Court's ruling, but have partially recovered since. They are up 11 percent this year, and gained 2.4 percent to $30.97 in after-hours trading.