ImmuCell Corp., which develops and manufactures products that help prevent, diagnose and treat cattle diseases, posted a larger fourth-quarter loss amid higher expenses. 

The Portland-based company said its fourth-quarter net loss totaled $17,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $1,000 or nil a year ago.

At the same time, however, product sales increased 9 percent to $1.4 million.

For the full year, ImmuCell posted a profit of $90,000, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $410,000, or 14 cents a share a year ago. Full-year product sales increased to $5.39 million from $5.11 million.

“Despite the ongoing economic hardships faced by our customers, we ended the year with strong product sales in the fourth quarter. Sales of our lead product, First Defense, increased by 16 percent and 5 percent during the fourth quarter and for the full year, respectively, over 2011 levels,” said ImmuCell President and Chief Executive Michael Brigham. 

“As projected, our bottom line performance improved from a loss in 2011 to a profit in 2012,” Brigham said.

Shares of ImmuCell gained 5.3 percent to trade at $3.87 in morning trading on Nasdaq.