Revenue up 17%; adjusted earnings per share up 66%. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is certainly bringing home the bacon.

But that's part of the problem. Revenue and profits in the fourth quarter were boosted by the swine flu. Sales of Relenza, the company's antiviral treatment -- like Roche and Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) Tamiflu -- reached $408 million last quarter compared to just $19 million a year ago. Sales of Glaxo's vaccine to keep from having to use Relenza or Tamiflu in the first place brought in $1.3 billion, boosting vaccine sales by 78% in the fourth quarter.

Subtract those two gains out and revenue was up a much more modest 1.8%. Not horrible considering the patent losses that Glaxo has been dealing with, but the kosher-friendly results aren't that exciting either.

Even if pandemic flu sales stay at the same level this year -- and Glaxo seems to think they will -- it won't give vaccine makers like Glaxo, sanofi-aventis (NYSE:SNY), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) any additional boost this year, and could result in lower sales next year if the worry continues to subside.

Glaxo's future isn't the swine flu, but delivering more drugs with fewer expenses overall is. To that end, the company announced today that it was cutting more jobs and switching its research and development focus from depression and pain drugs to neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, as well as rare diseases. Management thinks it can get a higher rate of return from the switch, which is, of course, what every investor is looking for.

Glaxo's extensive partnerships with small drug developers like Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) and Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI) -- 47 in total, making up 30% of its research -- should eventually pay off. In the meantime investors will just have to chew on some pork rinds and enjoy their increased dividend while they wait.

Exelixis is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Novartis is a Global Gains recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Exelixis and GlaxoSmithKline. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.