Vertex Pharmaceuticals , a company I may never forgive for those annoying VERTEX! commercials of years ago, announced its third-quarter earnings figures after today's close. The company posted a quarterly loss of $107 million, or 82 cents per share, wider than the year-ago loss of $51.8 million (46 cents per share).

Excluding restructuring charges and other items, VRTX would have lost 72 cents per share, a penny better than analysts' expected loss of 73 cents per share. Revenue dropped 23% during the reporting period to $41 million, well below the $74 million expected on the Street.

Vertex officials noted that this loss was largely the part of higher development investment as it works on telaprevir, a hepatitis C inhibitor. Looking forward, the firm expects fourth-quarter revenue to increase compared to the current quarter's numbers. The company's full-year guidance stands at a loss of $360 million to $390 million. Excluding items, the total loss for 2007 is pegged at somewhere between $300 million and $330 million.

Vertex shares are flat after hours but tacked on 1.95% during the regular session. On October 18, Vertex shares plunged sharply lower after Schering-Plough (SGP) reported positive news for its rival hepatitis C drug. In the subsequent sessions, VRTX has been slowly trying to undo some of these damages. Today's gains lifted the stock back above its 160-day trendline.