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Botox, Lap-Band manufacturer Allergan reports higher fourth-quarter earnings

Irvine-based Allergan Inc., which manufactures wrinkle-erasing Botox and the Lap-Band weight-loss system, reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday.

The company said it earned $263 million during the last three months of 2010, or 85 cents a share, compared with $222 million, or 72 cents a share, during the same period in 2009.

Sales of Botox were up 11% for the full year, an increase that Allergan chief executive David E.I. Pyott attributed in part to the global economic recovery.

Botox Sales of Allergan's obesity intervention products, mainly Lap-Band, were down nearly 10% for the quarter. Pyott blamed the decrease on high unemployment in the United States.

Although a significant increase over the prior year, the fourth-quarter earnings were slightly less than some analysts had forecast. Allergan’s stock was down about 0.5% in early trading Wednesday.

The company provided its first guidance for 2011, saying it expected sales of between $5 billion and $5.2 billion. The company estimated that Botox sales would be between $1.49 billion and $1.54 billion, up from about $1.4 billion in the past year. 2011 will mark the first full year that Botox will be allowed as a treatment for migraine headaches in the United States.

“There is great physician interest in the headache community. Our sales force is fully deployed,” Pyott said Wednesday morning in a conference call with analysts.

Allergan estimated that sales of its obesity intervention products would be between $220 million and $240 million in 2011, about the same as 2010.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee has recommended that Lap-Band surgeries be allowed for less obese people, a step that could significantly increase the pool of U.S. residents eligible for the surgery.

--Stuart Pfeifer

Photo credit: Allergan

 
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