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Gilead Tops Expectations And Raises Guidance (GILD)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) blew past analyst expectations in the first quarter, reporting $7.6 billion in total revenue vs. consensus estimates of $6.9 billion. More important, the company reported an impressive $4.5 billion in sales from its HCV franchise. That’s from two drugs – in one quarter.

Sell-side analysts, on average, expected $3.5 billion in combined sales for Harvoni and Sovaldi; Gilead reported worldwide sales of $3.579B and $972M, respectively. To be fair, investors (and a few analysts) had higher expectations, but the $4.5B number from the HCV franchise is meaningful nonetheless. Expenses also came in well below estimates. Gilead increased its full-year 2015 revenue guidance, which it initially provided in early February, and now expects total revenue in 2015 of $28 – $29 billion, up from $26 – $27 billion. For this conservative management team, that’s saying a lot.

Gilead used $3 billion of its $5.7 billion in operational free cash flow during the quarter to buy back stock (that also completes its May 2014 repurchase program). The company was spending about $47 million per trading day buying its own stock in the first quarter. That’s about 5% of GILD’s average daily volume.

Gilead had $14.5 billion in cash/equivalents at March 31.