UPDATE 1-Nektar swings to 4th-qtr profit on lower expenses

jueves 28 de febrero de 2008 00:30 CET

(Adds outlook, details from conference call, share movement)

BANGALORE Feb 27 (Reuters) - Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR.O: Cotización) swung to a fourth-quarter profit as operating costs and expenses fell almost three-fourths, and shares of the company rose more than 8 percent in trading after the bell.

The company, which earlier this month cut 20 percent of its workforce, posted quarterly net income of $39 million, or 42 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $38.9 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue fell to $65.8 million from $69.9 million.

Analysts on average expected a loss of 24 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $46.9 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Operating costs and expenses for the quarter fell to $28.4 million from $110.1 million a year ago.

In a conference call, the company said it intends to enter a partnership for its inhaled insulin program in the second quarter of 2008.

This program was exited last year by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: Cotización), the world's biggest drugmaker, on weak sales of the inhaled insulin product Exubera, following which Pfizer paid Nektar $135 million.

The company also forecast 2008 revenue of $95 million from two of its businesses. Analysts expect revenue for the company to total $99.1 million for the period.

Shares of Nektar, based in San Carlos, California, were trading at $7 after the bell. The shares closed at $6.46 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)