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Questcor Pharma Profit Surges - Update

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Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR: Quote) Tuesday reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit, mainly as nephrologists prescribed more of its H.P. Acthar Gel in the treatment of nephrotic syndrome, as also for MS relapses and infantile spasms.

The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share, up 25 percent from the previous dividend. The dividend will be payable on or about April 30 to stockholders as of April 22.

Nonetheless, investors were unimpressed with the results, and shares of the company slumped six percent in after-hours trade on the Nasdaq.

The Anaheimm, California-based biotechnology company reported quarterly net income of $62 million or $1.03 per share, compared with $31.6 million or $0.48 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the reporting quarter totaled $65.7 million or $1.09 per share.

On average, seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.00 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Questcor reported quarterly net sales of $160.5 million, up from $75.5 million last year. Analysts on consensus estimated revenues of $142.58 million for the quarter.

Questcor shipped 6,330 vials of Acthar during the quarter, up 88 percent from a year ago.

Questcor, which in January purchased BioVectra Inc., said results do not reflect the acquisition of BioVectra or the change, to be applied on a prospective basis, in the Medicaid rebate percentage for Acthar, "both of which occurred in the first quarter 2013."

BioVectra has been Questcor's manufacturing partner for the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Acthar. Questcor believes the deal provides vertical integration, third party manufacturing capabilities and further secures Acthar manufacturing trade secrets.

Meanwhile, during the quarter, Questcor increased its spend on Research and development to $12 million from $5.7 million a year ago.

The company is in talks with the FDA to commence trials of Acthar for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a life-threatening, progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Enrollment is also underway in a Phase 4 trial to study the efficacy and safety of Acthar in patients with persistently active lupus.

Questcor closed Tuesday at $32.66, up 5.19%, on a volume of 3.4 million shares. In after hours, the stock dropped $1.98 or 6.06%. In the past year, the stock has traded in a range of $17.25 - $58.91.

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by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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Editors Pick
Apple Inc. said Monday that its fourth quarter profit rose 13% from last year, driven by strong sales of its iPhones and Mac computers. The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly sales. At the same time, the company gave an upbeat revenue forecast for the current quarter, which includes the all important holiday season. Stocks moved notably higher over the course of the trading day on Monday, extending the strong upward move seen last Friday. The gains on the day continued the recent recovery by the markets, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closing higher for the third consecutive session. While Republicans have largely tried to frame the upcoming midterm elections as a referendum on President Barack Obama, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., has joined the few offering guidance on what the GOP will do if it manages to retake control of the Senate.
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