Biopharma giant MedImmune
Last year, 87% of MedImmune's sales came from the respiratory infection drug Synagis. Synagis sales are expected to only grow 9%-10% this quarter, but with the magic of revenue growth scaling at a faster pace than expenditures, MedImmune will be able to grow earnings to a much greater degree than its top line.
For the first quarter, MedImmune expects earnings per share to nearly triple versus last year, to $0.62 a share. It also predicts full-year earnings of $0.90 to $0.95 a share, also roughly three times higher than in 2006. The impetus for this year's expected earnings growth: dramatically lower R&D and SG&A spending as a percentage of sales in 2007.
As long as MedImmune keeps costs in check, it should have no problem meeting its 2009 goal of $2 billion in revenue, nor its $2 target for diluted earnings per share. Besides moderate top-line growth with Synagis, MedImmune wins no matter which drug prevails in the multibillion-dollar human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine race between Merck