Drugmaker Biogen tops 4Q forecasts despite sales slip

Feb 15, 2023, 7:13 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

Biogen closed 2022 with a better-than-expected fourth quarter, as more cost cutting helped counter sales declines for some key treatments.

The drugmaker said Wednesday that total cost and expenses fell 17% in the quarter, and Biogen’s bottom line grew nearly 50% to $550.4 million.

Adjusted earnings totaled $4.05 per share. Total revenue slid 7% to $2.54 billion. Sales of the company’s multiple sclerosis treatments tumbled as cheaper generic competition hurt the drug Tecfidera.

Analysts expected earnings of $3.48 per share on $2.44 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Biogen embarked on a broad cost-cutting program last year, which included slashing most of its spending on Aduhelm. The once highly anticipated Alzheimer’s disease treatment has flopped since it debuted with strict government restrictions on who can take it.

The drug brought in only $4.8 million in sales last year. Biogen’s top-selling multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri generated $2 billion in global sales.

Biogen Inc. made $3 billion in 2022, with adjusted earnings totaling $17.67 per share.

For 2023, the company forecasts adjusted earnings to range between $15 and $16 per share.

Analysts forecast $15.80 per share.

Biogen also expects revenue to slip next year. The company is helping to produce and sell another Alzheimer’s treatment, Leqembi from the Japanese drugmaker Eisai. Biogen said Wednesday that it predicts expenses tied to the drug will exceed the “modest” initial revenue it expects from Leqembi.

Shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company fell more than 2%, or $7.45, to $281.63 in midday trading. Broader indexes were down less than 1%.

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Drugmaker Biogen tops 4Q forecasts despite sales slip