By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com -- Shares in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) rose on Friday after the drugmaker posted better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter despite a dip in sales of its key eye drug.
The blockbuster medication, known as Eylea, has supported the company's performance since its release over a decade ago. In 2022, it raked in $6.27 billion in sales.
However, the temporary closure of a non-profit fund that provides patient co-pay assistance partly contributed to a 3% decline in sales of Eylea in the final three months of the year to $1.5B. The company noted that customers had also shifted to an off-label brand of Eylea, although this was deemed a "short-term" trend.
The winding down by the U.S. government of a pandemic-era drug procurement program meant that Regeneron did not book any sales from its COVID antibody cocktail as well. In the final quarter of 2021, sales of the therapy had come in at $2.3B.
But strong demand remained for the eczema drug Dupixent, which was recorded in partner Sanofi's (NASDAQ:SNY) results, helped partially offset these drops. Regeneron took home $836M in collaboration revenue from the French pharmaceutical firm, an increase of 61% year-on-year.
"The change in the Company's share of profits from commercialization of antibodies was driven by profits associated with higher Dupixent sales," Regeneron said in a statement.
As a result, total quarterly revenues of $3.4B were above Bloomberg consensus estimates of $3.12B, even though the top-line figure slumped by 31%. Profit of $12.56 per share during the period was also above expectations of $10.03 a share, according to Reuters.
In a note to clients, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said Regeneron's latest numbers were "generally in-line" with prior predictions, but flagged that "shares will likely trade near-term around less predictable Eylea dynamics."
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