Gilead Sciences Inc. shares rose 2.1% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the drugmaker surprised investors with better-than-expected sales of its COVID-19 drug Veklury during the fourth quarter of 2020. The COVID-19 antiviral, which was called remdesivir until it received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration in October, generated $ 1.9 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a FactSet consensus of $ 1.2 billion.
It made up 25% of Gilead’s GILD, + 2.03% of total revenue in the last three months of the year. In total, Veklury raised a total of $ 2.8 billion since it received authorization for emergency use as a COVID-19 treatment in May. Last spring, the authorization was applauded by a medical community that had few options for treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients. In the days before and after the announcement of the emergency authorization, Gilead’s shares hovered around $ 80. Since then it has fallen in the mid-1960s, closing at $ 65.83 on Thursday, as enthusiasm for the drug has waned. The World Health Organization said on November 20 that it recommended not treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients with the drug, and said research, including its own, did not indicate that it “improves survival and other outcomes in these patients “. However, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in a press release Thursday that Veklury is being used to treat one in two hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the U.S. Gilead made profits from $ 1.5 billion, or $ 1.23 per share, in the fourth quarter. of 2020, compared to $ 2.7 billion, or $ 2.12 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. It had adjusted earnings per share of $ 2.19, against a FactSet consensus of $ 2.04. Gilead said revenue was $ 7.4 billion for the quarter, up from $ 5.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. The FactSet consensus was $ 7.1 billion. The company’s HIV benchmark portfolio continues to be driven by sales of newer therapies like Biktarvy, whose sales rose to $ 2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from $ 1.5 billion in the same period a year ago. . But its overall HIV business saw a 7% decline in sales in the fourth quarter, to $ 4.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $ 4.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. Analysts said that they were less focused on the company’s fourth-quarter results, as executives had already shared some details about fourth-quarter sales at the JP Morgan Health Care virtual conference in January. At that time, Gilead updated its guidance for 2020 based on unexpectedly higher product sales during the last quarter of the year. However, what they were looking for are indications of the use of Veklury in 2021 and the sales expectations of Trodelvy, the company’s breast cancer drug that received approval from the Food and Drug Administration last April. It obtained the rights to Trodelvy through its $ 21 billion acquisition of Immunomedics Inc. in September. Trodelvy generated $ 64.0 million in sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $ 137 million over 12 months. (About $ 49 million of that is counted on Gilead’s balance sheet since the deal with Immunomedics closed during the fourth quarter of the year.) “One thing we are very interested in is how Gilead plans to convey its long-term growth outlook to investors.” Mizuho Securities analyst Salim Syed wrote in a note to investors on February 2. Gilead provided guidance for 2021, saying it expects total product sales of $ 23.7 billion to $ 25.1 billion, including Veklury sales of $ 2.0 billion to $ 3.0 billion, and EPS adjusted from $ 6.75 to $ 7.45. The drugmaker also noted that it expects to see a gradual recovery from pandemic dynamics in the second quarter of 2021. Gilead shares are down 2.6% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX, + 1.09% has gained 17.9%. %.