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Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported fourth quarter 2012 adjusted earnings per share of $1.09, up 132% from the year-ago period. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 93 cents. The earnings beat was attributable to higher revenues.

Fourth quarter 2012 revenues climbed 113% to $160.5 million. Strong performance of the H.P. Acthar Gel in the nephrotic syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses and infantile spasms indications contributed to the massive growth. Revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $142 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 research and development (R&D) expenses were $12.1 million, up 111.6%. The increase was attributable to the company’s efforts to develop its pipeline. In the reported quarter general and administrative expenses were $11.2 million, up 93.8% and selling and marketing expenses were $33.1 million, up 94.4%.

Full year 2012 earnings per share were $3.33 compared with $1.27 per share in 2011. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.02 per share. Revenues in 2012 increased 133% year over year to $509.3 million. Revenues for 2012 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $491 million.

Acthar, an injectable drug, is the lead product at Questcor. It is approved by the FDA for as many as 19 indications. The company shipped 6,330 and 20,741 vials of Acthar during the fourth quarter and full year 2012, up 88% and 94%, respectively. Questcor’s other product is Doral (insomnia).

Questcor carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report), SIGA Technologies, Inc. and United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR - Analyst Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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