Biogen Idec's fourth-quarter earnings slipped nearly 3 percent after it fixed a tax error and saw expenses climb.
The biotech drugmaker said Monday that its tax expense increased by $29 million after altering the way it logs capitalized interest at a Denmark location. The error had accumulated over several years.
Total cost and expenses climbed more than 7 percent to $987.5 million with selling, general and administrative costs jumping 32 percent.
The company earned $292.1 million, or $1.23 per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with $300.2 million, or $1.22 per share in last year's quarter, when the company had more shares outstanding. Adjusted earnings, which exclude amortization and some other expenses, were $1.40 per share.
The earnings fell short of Wall Street forecasts and shared edged slightly downward in premarket trading. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of $1.46 per share.
But revenue climbed nearly 7 percent to $1.42 billion, topping Wall Street's expectations of $1.39 billion.
Biogen focuses on treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Its product revenue climbed nearly 8 percent to $1.07 billion in the quarter.
Revenue from its multiple sclerosis treatment Avonex climbed 7 percent to $753 million in the quarter. Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy nerves. It can cause pain, numbness, slurred speech, impaired vision, muscle weakness, and neurological problems.
Revenue from an older multiple sclerosis treatment, Tysabri, climbed 10 percent to $295 million.
Countering those gains, the company's corporate partner revenues fell to $6.1 million from about $20 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year, Biogen earned $1.38 billion, or $5.76 per share, on $5.52 billion in total revenue.
For 2013, the company forecasts earnings to range between $7.15 and $7.25 per share, with revenue growth of about 10 percent. That would amount to about $6.07 billion in revenue.
Analysts are looking for earnings of $7.25 per share on $5.98 billion in revenue.
Shares of Biogen Idec Inc., based in Weston, Mass., fell 12 cents to $146.02 Monday in pre-market trading.
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