(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc (O:GILD) on Wednesday reported a 17% rise in quarterly revenue, but the contribution from its antiviral drug remdesivir – the only treatment approved in the United States for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – was less than anticipated.
Gilead lowered the top end of its full-year sales outlook, saying it now expects revenue of $23 billion to $23.5 billion, which is below Wall Street estimates of $24.1 billion. The company had previously forecast 2020 sales as high as $25 billion.
Remdesivir brought in $873 million in the third quarter, below analysts’ estimates of $960 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Gilead, during a conference call, said a portion of those sales are being held in inventory for use in the fourth quarter, adding that projecting remdesivir sales was difficult at this point.
“There is still uncertainty about the pandemic and still lingering questions about the visibility of remdesivir with antibodies coming,” Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analyst Michael Yee said, referring to experimental antibody drugs designed to treat COVID-19.
Gilead shares, which closed down 2%, fell another 1% in extended trading.
Third-quarter revenue of $6.6 billion beat the average analysts’ estimate of $6.31 billion. The company posted adjusted earnings per share of $2.11, topping Wall Street expectations by 21 cents.
Remdesivir, sold under the brand name Veklury, was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May after it was shown to shorten hospital stays for COVID-19 patients in a government-run clinical trial.
Commercial sales began in July and the FDA formally approved the drug this month, despite recent results from a World Health Organization-sponsored trial showing remdesivir did not improve patient outcomes.