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Drug maker QLT Inc. posted a net loss of $19.2-million (U.S.) in the fourth quarter compared with a profit of $80,582 in the same prior-year period when it recorded a big gain from discontinued operations.

That is equal to a loss of 38 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared to earnings of $1.49 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Back in 2009, the company, which reports in U.S. dollars, recorded $116.7-million in gains from the sale of QLT USA.

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In its most recent quarter, revenue was $10-million, down from $10.8-million the year before, while sales of QLT's macular degeneration treatment, Visudyne, declined 19 per cent in the U.S. compared with the fourth quarter in 2009.

QLT also spent $8.1-million more on research and development than in the year-earlier quarter.

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