A day after its CEO Jeremy Levin was ousted by the board, Teva Pharmaceuticals reported third-quarter earnings on Thursday that were unchanged from a year ago but ahead of analysts' estimates by one cent a share.
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Teva, the world's largest generic drug maker and Israel's biggest company, posted a net profit of $1.27 a share excluding one-time items for the quarter, compared with $1.28 a year earlier, while adjusted net income was unchanged at $1.1 billion. Revenue edged up 2% to $5.1 billion.
Teva was forecast to earn $1.26 a share excluding items on revenue of $5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Nevertheless, shares of Teva were down 3.6% at NIS 130.50 in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading late in the afternoon.
Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which accounts for a fifth of sales and half of profit, rose 1% to $1.05 billion, thanks to a 3% rise in the U.S. market, which is by far its biggest.
Copaxone, which is injected, faces competition from oral treatments that are already available or expected to hit the market in coming years. Sales in the United States, where the drug faces intense competition, dropped 1.7% from the second quarter. However, the drug's third-quarter performance was strong relative to other injectable treatments like those produced by Biogen Idec's Avonex and Novartis’ Gilenya, which dropped 2.4%.
Overall, sales of Teva's proprietary drugs – and against its core business in generics – increased 2.9% to $2.1 billion, mainly due to sales of its Parkinson's disease drug Azilect, the cancer treatment Treanda and its ProAir and Qvar line of respiratory drugs.
In generics, Teva broke a trend of falling revenues in the third quarter thanks to a series of new regulatory approvals in the United States. Sales of generics were down only 0.4% in the quarter from a year ago at $2.5 billion, but in the United States they were up 6% to $1.1 billion.
Teva said on Wednesday that Levin was leaving and that Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh would stand in on an interim basis effective immediately. Phillip Frost, Teva's Florida-based chairman, said Levin and the board had different views on the best way to carry out the company's new strategy.
Earlier this month, Teva said it would cut 5,000 jobs - 10% of its workforce - thus accelerating a cost-cutting plan as it prepares for lower-priced competition to Copaxone.
Teva declared a quarterly dividend of NIS 1.15 shekels a share, unchanged from the previous two quarters.