RALEIGH, N.C. — Shares in pharmaceutical firm Salix (Nasdaq: SLXP) plummeted nearly 11 percent on Thursday after the company missed Wall Street analysts’ expectations on quarterly earnings.

Salix reported a net income of $3.7 million, or 8 cents a share. Analysts had forecast a 12-cent per share profit.

Salix shares fell $1.52 to close at $12.36.

The company also forecast earnings of 60 cents a share for 2006. Analysts were expecting 85 cents, according to media reports.

Increase research and development as well as general and administrative costs cut into the company’s profit margins. Revenue climbed to $41.9 million, up from $28.8 million for the same period in 2005.

Salix: www.salix.com