Human Genome's loss beats forecast

Rockville firm loses 19 cents a share, not 22 cents predicted by analysts

October 26, 2001|By Julie Bell | Julie Bell,SUN STAFF

Human Genome Sciences Inc. reported yesterday that its net loss widened to $24.9 million in the third quarter as the company expanded the testing and manufacturing of its experimental drugs.

The Rockville company's loss for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 amounted to 19 cents per share on revenue of $1.6 million. That compares with a pro forma net loss of $14.9 million, or 14 cents per share, on revenue of $6.3 million in the year-ago period.

Fifteen analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had predicted a quarterly loss averaging 22 cents a share.

The results from the third quarter last year excluded a one-time write-off of $134.1 million, or $1.21 per share, related to the acquisition of Principia Pharmaceutical Corp. When the costs of that acquisition are included, the loss in the year-ago quarter was $148.9 million, or $1.35 per share.

Revenue decreased after the expiration of agreements that gave five large pharmaceutical companies exclusive rights to use Human Genome Sciences' gene databases in exchange for certain payments. The agreements with Glaxo- SmithKline PLC, Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd., Schering-Plough Corp., Merck KGaA and Sanofi-Synthelabo expired on June 30.

"One year ago, Human Genome Sciences had three drugs in clinical trials for five indications," William A. Haseltine, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Today, we have five drugs in clinical trials for multiple indications."

Those drugs are Repifermin for the treatment of venous ulcers, ulcerative colitis and sores in the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal lining caused by chemotherapy; Mirostipen to protect the immune system from chemotherapy; BLyS for treatment of certain immune deficiencies; Albuferon for hepatitis C, and Albutropin for adult growth hormone deficiency.

The company announced its financial results after the market closed. Shares gained $1.58, or nearly 4 percent, yesterday to close at $41.14 on the Nasdaq stock market.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.