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UPDATE 2-Gilead forecasts 2021 results above Wall Street estimates

UPDATE 2-Gilead forecasts 2021 results above Wall Street estimates

· 02/04/2021 16:27
UPDATE 2-Gilead forecasts 2021 results above Wall Street estimates

Adds analyst comment, recasts, updates share price

By Vishwadha Chander and Deena Beasley

- Gilead Sciences Inc GILD.O on Thursday forecast its 2021 results above Wall Street estimates after posting a 26% rise in fourth-quarter 2020 revenue, driven by sales of its antiviral drug, remdesivir, which is used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Shares of Gilead were up 2% in extended trading.

For 2021, the California-based company projected an adjusted earnings range with a midpoint of $7.10 per share, on product sales with a midpoint of $24.4 billion, ahead of respective Wall Street estimates of $6.85 per share and $24.27 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

"We think the $7 number is higher than where investors were looking for and provides a good base to continue to grow," Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in an email.

He said Gilead projected 2021 operating expenses at less than analysts have estimated.

Gilead said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact its sales, including its treatments for hepatitis C and HIV, and it expects a gradual recovery in underlying market dynamics starting the second quarter of this year.

Remdesivir, which is sold under the brand name Veklury, brought in $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, above analysts' estimates of $1.34 billion. Excluding Veklury, Gilead said its quarterly sales fell 7%.

Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $7.42 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $7.33 billion. Adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.19 were ahead of Wall Street expectations of $2.15 per share.



(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Ramakrishnan M. and Karishma Singh)

((Vishwadha.Chander@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6132;))