Salix Pharmaceuticals reported its first profitable quarter on Tuesday, sending the company’s stock soaring more than $2 a share.

Salix (Nasdaq: SLXP) said sales of its anti-diarrhea drugs soared to $33.5 million, an increase of 138 percent from one year ago. The launch of its new drug Xifaxan helped increase revenues. Its lead product, Colazal, hit $20.7 million.

Salix reported a 19-cent per share profit of $7.6 million.

The company also increased its sales guidance for the year for Colazal to $80 million, up from $77 million, and total revenues of $100 million. The company said 2005 revenues would range between $150-155 million.

The news sent Salix stock up $2.11, or 13 percent, to $18.14, in late afternoon trading. It closed at $18.08. More than 2 million shares were traded.

Salix: www.salix.com