Alexion Pharmaceuticals Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALXN  ) rose close to 11% in early trading and touched a new 52-week high of $57.73 a share after the biotech company raised its full-year forecast.

So what: Management now expects $1.10 to $1.15 in adjusted profit per share on $745 million to $755 million in revenue, thanks to strong sales of its hematology treatment, Soliris. Earlier estimates had called for $1.05 to $1.12 a share in earnings on $720 million to $740 million in revenue.

Now what: Those who've been following Alexion for a while probably aren't surprised. Not only has Soliris found a niche, but management has a history of squeezing positive cash flow from the underlying business. Not bad when far too many biotechs burn cash like sparklers on Independence Day. Do you agree? Disagree? Weigh in using the comments box below.

Interested in more info on Alexion Pharmaceuticals?Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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