On Wednesday, drug developer ViroPharma
For the year, Vancocin sales increased 32% to $167 million, hitting slightly above the midpoint of ViroPharma's previous guidance. Gross margins improved 290 basis points to 88.6%, thanks partly to the benefit of higher Vancocin pricing. Operating income rose 12%, despite ramped-up R&D spending for ViroPharma's two development-stage compounds, and earnings came in at $0.95 a share for the year.
Sales of Vancocin actually fell nearly 5% in the fourth quarter, but that resulted from the timing of wholesaler stocking of the drug, not any immediate decrease in demand for Vancocin. The drug's prescriptions grew 19% compared to last year's fourth quarter, and 23% for the year.
ViroPharma already issued its 2007 financial forecast back in January, but it reiterated this guidance in its earnings release, while shedding more light on its expense structure for the year. I'd previously calculated around $75 million in net income for this year, excluding options expense. It looks like that reasonable estimate should hold, barring any generic Vancocin entrants.
In 2007, investors should especially watch for the release of Genzyme's