February 19, 2008 / 8:24 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 2-United Therapeutics Q4 profit plunges on expenses

 (Recasts, adds details)
 Feb 19 (Reuters) - Biotechnology firm United Therapeutics
Corp UTHR.O reported a 96 percent drop in fourth-quarter
profit, hurt by higher stock-option expenses and a lower income
tax benefit when compared to the previous year.
 The company based in Silver Spring, Maryland, posted a
quarterly profit of $2.0 million, or 8 cents a share, compared
with $55.5 million, or $2.42, a share a year ago.
 United reported a stock-based compensation expense of $27.0
million, mainly due to options grants to its Chief Executive.
It also recorded an impairment charge of $2.1 million related
to the decline of its investment in ViRexx Medical Corp
 Total selling, general and administrative expenses for the
latest fourth quarter rose to $44.2 million from $19.2 million
a year ago.
 The company recorded an income tax benefit of $7.1 million
in the latest fourth quarter, compared with $47.7 million a
year ago.
 Revenue rose 30 percent to $59.9 million, helped by higher
sales of its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug, Remodulin.
 Analysts on average had expected earnings of 53 cents a
share, excluding items, on revenue of $59.4 million, according
to Reuters Estimates.
 United shares were trading down 22 cents at $87.78 in late
afternoon trade on Nasdaq.
 (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Bangalore; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)

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