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Biogen Q4'16 earnings slashed by license agreement

Biogen Inc. reported a 22% year-over-year decrease in its fourth-quarter 2016 GAAP income.

The result, $649.2 million, or $2.99 per share, compares to $831.6 million, or $3.77 per share, in the 2015 fourth quarter and reflects a license agreement that resulted in a $455 million pre-tax charge during the closing months of 2016.

Biogen recently secured the rights to use Forward Pharma A/S' method for treating multiple sclerosis for $1.25 billion in cash. Biogen will make the payment and possibly up to 10% or 20% in royalties on the sale of Tecfidera, which uses Forward's patent protected method for multiple sclerosis.

The $455 million charge represents the portion of the payment attributable to the sales of Tecfidera during the April 2014 to Dec. 31, 2016, period.

Excluding the charge, Biogen recorded $1.09 billion, or $5.04 per share, in non-GAAP net income for the 2016 fourth quarter. This would compare to $995 million, or $4.50 per share, for the corresponding quarter of 2015.

The result beats the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate of $4.96.

Biogen recorded $2.87 billion in revenues during the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing the year's total up by 6% to $11.45 billion when compared to 2015.

The company's full-year 2016 GAAP net income was also up to $3.70 billion, or $16.93 per share, from $3.55 billion, or $15.34 per share, in 2015.

Biogen recorded $4.42 billion, or $20.22 per share, in full-year 2016 non-GAAP income, which would compare to the $3.93 billion, or $17.01 per share, recorded in 2015.

Full-year non-GAAP income also beats the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate of $20.17.

Biogen will target between $18 and $18.80 in GAAP and $20.45 and $21.25 in non-GAAP income during 2017.