Cephalon Inc. yesterday beat Wall Street expectations with 2006 revenue of $1.76 billion, up 46 percent, compared with 2005 revenue of $1.21 billion.

The Frazer biotechnology company for the full year posted a profit of $144.8 million, or $2.08 a share, compared with a loss of $175 million, or $3.01 in 2005.

For the fourth quarter, Cephalon reported a loss of $4.9 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with net income of $18.07 million, or 30 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue was $484.7 million, up from $336.4 million in the same quarter of 2005.

Excluding charges and one-time items, the company said it earned $78.4 million, or $1.06 a share, for the fourth quarter of 2006. Those charges and items include $35.5 million in payments for research-and-development collaborations and a $48.1 million expense for the exchange of debt.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were predicting earnings of 91 cents and revenue of $430 million for the quarter. For 2006, the average estimates were for earnings per share of $4.63 and revenue of $1.69 billion.

Cephalon's top drug, Provigil, a sleep-disorder medication, had $727.9 million in sales for the year, up from $512.8 million in 2005. Sales of the cancer pain drug Actiq fell in the latest to $108.9 million, compared with $117.8 million in the same 2005 period, due to generic competition. The sales decline was offset by a new pain medicine, Fentora, with fourth-quarter sales of $29.3 million.

"We successfully transitioned our pain franchise to Fentora, our next-generation, rapid-onset opioid, and accelerated the remarkable growth of Provigil," said Cephalon chairman and chief executive officer Frank Baldino Jr. "As we look to the future, we believe that the development of our promising oncology pipeline will provide an additional platform for our continued growth."

Cephalon kept 2007 sales guidance to between $1.675 billion and $1.725 billion, and raised adjusted per-share earnings guidance to $3.90 to $4.00.

The earnings report was released after the stock market had finished trading for the day. Cephalon shares closed up 25 cents, or 0.35 percent, to $72.45 on the Nasdaq.

For Cephalon's complete fourth-quarter and year-end financial report, go to http://go.philly.com/ Cephalon4QEndText

Contact staff writer Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or lloyd@phillynews.com.