Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) delivered a strong performance in 2019, with its shares soaring 37%. The biotech's momentum has faded so far this year, though.

However, Incyte gave investors a reason to cheer with its fiscal 2019 fourth-quarter and full-year results announced before the market opened on Thursday. Here are the highlights from the company's Q4 update.

Scientist holding up a capsule in gloved hand

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Incyte announced Q4 revenue of $579.4 million, a 10% increase from the $528.4 million reported in the same quarter of the previous year. This revenue total topped the average analysts' revenue estimate of $575.6 million.

The company reported net income of $111 million, or $0.51 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Incyte's bottom line improved significantly from GAAP earnings of $69.1 million, or $0.32 per share, recorded in the prior-year period. 

Incyte posted adjusted net income in the fourth quarter of $0.65 per share, down slightly from adjusted earnings of $0.66 per share in the same quarter of 2018. However, the company's Q4 adjusted earnings per share beat the consensus analysts' estimate of $0.57 per share.

Behind the numbers

As usual, Incyte's performance in Q4 was driven by bone marrow cancer drug Jakafi. The company reported net product revenue from the drug of $466.5 million in the fourth quarter, up 23% year over year. Incyte also recorded royalties from Novartis' marketing of the drug (under the brand name Jakavi) totaling $65 million, a year-over-year increase of 17%. The biotech attributed this growth primarily to stronger patient demand.

Incyte also announced net product revenue of $24.3 million for leukemia drug Iclusig. This reflected 27% year-over-year growth.

The biotech's fastest-rising star, though, was Olumiant. Incyte reported that its Q4 royalties from the rheumatoid arthritis drug soared 70% year over year to $23.6 million. Olumiant is marketed by Incyte's partner, Eli Lilly.

Looking ahead

Incyte projects that Jakafi net revenue for full-year 2020 will be between $1.88 million and $1.95 million. The company expects full-year 2020 Iclusig net product revenue to be between $100 million and $105 million.

The main things to look forward to with biotech stocks such as Incyte, though, relate to pipeline updates. Incyte CEO Herve Hoppenot mentioned several milestones on the way, including FDA approval decisions on pemigatinib and capmatinib anticipated later in 2020. He also referenced the company's recent announcement of positive results from a late-stage study of ruxolitinib cream in treating atopic dermatitis. Hoppenot said Incyte plans to file for FDA approval of the drug in this indication in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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