May 1 (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc reported a lower quarterly profit on Tuesday as sales of its flagship hepatitis C drugs fell by a greater-than-expected 59 percent, sending shares of the biotechnology company down nearly 6 percent.
Gilead said it earned $1.48 a share in the first quarter excluding onetime items. Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of $1.67 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net income fell to $1.5 billion, or $1.17 per share, from $2.7 billion, or $2.05 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 22 percent to $5.08 billion.
Quarterly sales of Gilead's hepatitis C drugs dropped to $1.05 billion from $2.58 billion a year earlier, falling short of the $1.19 billion average analyst forecast. Sales of other antiviral and HIV drugs rose slightly to $3.33 billion from $3.27 billion.
Shares of Gilead, which rose half a percent to close at $72.56 in regular trading on the Nasdaq, were down 5.6 percent at $68.50 after hours. (Reporting by Deena Beasley; editing by Jonathan Oatis)