United Therapeutics reports sales up 40%

BUSINESS DIGEST

February 21, 2007|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter

Shares of United Therapeutics Corp. rose 12.4 percent yesterday after the company announced that sales had increased by at least 40 percent for the fourth year in a row, reporting annual revenue of $160 million for 2006 - nearly half of which was counted as profit.

That compares with the state's biggest biotech, MedImmune Inc., which had annual sales of $1.3 billion and recognized income of $75 million last year. That's $1 million more than United Therapeutics, which makes its money selling the drug Remodulin, a treatment for a blood vessel disorder in the lungs.

The difference may be in their approaches to the future. Gaithersburg's MedImmune, which makes the inhaled vaccine Flu-Mist, spent hundreds of millions acquiring multiple new drug technologies, hoping one will transform into a blockbuster. Meanwhile, United Therapeutics has been taking a more conservative approach, advancing just a few candidates.

Shares closed up $6.29 to $56.90 on the Nasdaq yesterday.

The Silver Spring company recorded 2006 income of $74 million, $3.23 per basic share, compared with $65 million and $2.85 per basic share in 2005. Sales rose to $160 million in 2006 from $116 million a year earlier.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, profit was $55.5 million compared with $29.4 million during the corresponding quarter of 2005. Sales for the quarter were $45.8 million compared with $29.6 million in the corresponding quarter in 2005.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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