Drug maker Genentech – struggling with near-flat sales of its two premier drugs, Avastin and Rituxan – managed to outperform analyst’s fourth quarter expectations – barely, reports the Associated Press. The one-time biotech uber star, which recorded phenomenal growth in each of the two previous years, showed only a 6.4% increase in profits on sales that rose 9% in the quarter.
Quarterly profits were $632 million, or 59 cents per share, compared to $594 million and 55 cents per share in 2006. Revenue rose to $2.97 billion from $2.71 billion. In 2006’s fourth quarter, Genentech’s profits surged 75%; 2005-2006 revenue growth was 69%. Genentech has four clinical trials upcoming, and Wall Street is banking on a success to reignite Genentech’s engines. (Read more Genentech stories.)