February 27, 2008 / 11:34 PM / 11 years ago

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

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

BANGALORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR.O) 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), 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)

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