Nothing cures investor worries about a company more than a good earnings report. Biopharmaceutical company ImCloneSystems (NASDAQ:IMCL) provided one today with the announcement of its third-quarter earnings results.

Total revenues were up 42% to $151 million, and earnings were at $57 million ($0.65 a share), up 85% over the third quarter of last year. For the first nine months of the year, earnings have been a staggering $3.58 per share, but a large chunk of that does include milestone payments from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY).


Royalty Revenue*

Y-O-Y Growth

Q3 06



Q2 06



Q1 06



Q4 05



*in millions

Cash and marketable securities were relatively flat compared to last quarter, at $990 million. This metric is important to watch, because outspoken investor Carl Icahn will probably use this money in something like a Dutch auction to reward himself and short-term shareholders.

Icahn has finally managed to wrest control of the board of directors away from his opposition; today he was elected as chairman of the board. Icahn's remaining detractors on the board will not run for reelection next quarter, giving Icahn near-complete control of the company. Because of Icahn's election as chairman, ImClone's interim CEO resigned today. The company will now be run by a puppet "executive committee" consisting of Icahn's associates, but really controlled by Icahn himself.

For long-term shareholders of ImClone stock, it will be hard to bask in the glory of ImClone's positive earnings for long. Numerous looming issues surround the company, including the Yeda patent dispute, coming competition from Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) Vectibix, and possible shareholder shenanigans from Icahn. Much of the current risk associated with shares of ImClone is only tangentially related to its quarterly results. That's what makes ImClone such a high-risk, high-reward lightning rod.

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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy .