You Just Won’t Believe Gilead’s Profit Margins

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Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) has now reported its second-quarter earnings. The largest biotech by market cap turned in earnings of $2.36 per share ($3.93 billion) on more than a 100% gain in product sales to $6.53 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters showed that the consensus earnings estimates were $1.77 per share and $5.82 billion in revenue. The company’s new Sovaldi Hepatitis C drug generate drug sales of $3.48 billion in this last quarter alone – much better than expectations of just under $3 billion.

Since December’s launch, Sovaldi has been prescribed for more than 80,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe. The company is looking forward to making Sovaldi available in additional countries as well.

Gilead now sees sales of $21 billion to $23 billion for the year – versus $22.63 billion expected from Thomson Reuters. Its 2014 gross margin on product sales is being put at 85% to 88% for the year, and the corporate effective tax rate is being projected to 17.5% to 20.0%.

Now you have at least some idea as to why Congress and industry watchdogs are complaining about an $84,000 regimen – or $1,000 per pill.

Sovaldi was almost the entire focus here. Gilead’s antiviral product sales increased to $6.01 billion for the second quarter of 2014, up from $2.31 billion for the second quarter of 2013. Product sales for the second quarter of 2014 increased to $4.82 billion from $1.64 billion in the U.S. alone, while product sales in Europe increased to $1.31 billion from $818.2 million.

Gilead indicated that its effective tax rate (non-GAAP) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 was 14.6% and 18.2%, respectively. Also, Gilead had $9.58 billion of cash and equivalents at the end of the second quarter versus $6.86 billion at the end of the first quarter.

Shares of Gilead were taking a bit of a breather on the report, closing up $1.01 at $90.34 and then down initially less than 1% after earnings.