HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. posted a first-quarter profit today, buoyed by sales of Fusilev and lower research and development expenses.

The results beat Wall Street estimates, and Spectrum shares rose 39 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $9.50 in pre-market trading.

The company reported net income of $12.8 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31 compared with a net loss of $39 million, or 80 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue surged to $43.6 million from $11.1 million.

Analysts expected the company to report earnings of 15 cents per share on $28.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company reported $35 million in sales from its drug Fusilev, up from $600,000 a year prior. The drug is used to treat the side effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate. It is approved for use in patients who are being treated for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and to reduce the toxicity of methotrexate.

Sales of the lymphoma drug Zevalin remained flat at $6 million and the company reported $3 million in licensing payments.

Operating expenses fell 49 percent to $26.1 million.

"With modest needs for running our day to day operations, we believe Spectrum is firmly on the road to continued success," said President and CEO Dr. Rajesh C. Shrotriya, in a statement.