Earnings Boost Sends Sicor Stock Climbing

Shares of Sicor Inc. jumped as much as 10% during trading Monday to hit a 52-week high after the Irvine maker of generic drugs said higher profit margins will help it exceed earnings expectations for the second quarter and the year.

The company's stock went up to $24.49 a share before closing at $23.61 on Nasdaq, an increase of $1.32 a share, or 6%, over Friday's close.

Sicor said in a news release that it expects earnings per share of from 14 to 15 cents for the second quarter and from 57 to 60 cents for the full year. Analysts expect the company to earn from 11 to 12 cents a share for the second quarter and from 48 to 50 cents a share for the full year, according to Wall Street research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. Sicor's stock, which had long languished, has climbed 64% so far this year and 170% for the past 12 months.

The company, which makes the popular generic anesthetic drug propofol, is moving aggressively to introduce a variety of cancer-fighting and other drugs whose patents are expiring. Sicor also is building a plant in Mexico to move into the burgeoning market for generic biotech drugs.

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