Bolstered by a tripling of sales for its drug Xifaxan, Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) beat Wall Street estimates with a 66-cent per share profit in the fourth quarter, the company reported after the markets closed Monday.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a 49-cent profit.

However, Salix did miss revenue expectations for the quarter at $118.5 million, although the total was 69 percent higher than a year ago. Analysts expected $120 million.

For this year, Salix projected revenues of $520 million, $15 million under Street expectations.

Last Thursday, Salix said the company would receive a letter from the FDA by March 7 explaining the delay. Salix wants to use Xifaxan in a dose of 550 milligrams to treat non-constipation irritable bowel syndrome. (Read more here.
The delay triggered a 23-percent selloff in Salix shares.

The FDA did approve Xifaxan a year ago for treatment of chronic liver failure, an expansion of its previous use for traveler’s diarrhea.

Salix reduced research and development costs in the fourth quarter to $11.8 million from $19.9 million a year earlier. For the year, R&D spending fell to $73.3 million from $89.5 million.

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