Salix Pharmaceuticals reported late Wednesday second-quarter earnings that handily beat Wall Street estimates.
The Raleigh company had revenue of $181 million for the quarter, up 36 percent from the same period in 2011. Excluding the loss of extinguished debt and non-cash adjustments, net income for the quarter was $50.9 million, or 79 cents per share.
That easily beat the 54 cents that was the consensus among Wall Street analysts who cover the company.
Revenue from Salix’s best-selling drug Xifaxan, which is approved to treat travelers’ diarrhea and a rare liver condition, increased 34 percent in the quarter to $116.7 million. Salix now forecasts total revenue for 2012 to be $735 million, which would be a 36 percent increase over 2011.
Salix sells drugs to treat gastrointestinal ailments. The company’s stock dropped 13 percent in a single day late last month after Salix announced that federal regulators have requested additional clinical data for its application for Relistor, a drug that treats constipation in patients taking pain medicines.
Irina Rivkind, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald, upgraded Salix’s stock to a buy rating after the company’s earnings release on Wednesday. In raising her price target for the stock to $60 she said the stock fell more than expected after the Relistor announcement.
Salix shares closed up 75 cents at $45.74 on Thursday. The stock is down 4 percent this year.