Teva Lifts 2015 Earnings View After Better Than Expected Q1

Teva is the world's largest generic drugmaker and Israel's biggest company.

Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is seeking to acquire rival Mylan Inc for over $40 billion, raised its full-year earnings outlook after posting a bigger-than-expected increase in first-quarter profit.

Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker and Israel's biggest company, posted on Thursday quarterly earnings of $1.36 per diluted share excluding one-time items, compared with $1.23 a year earlier. Revenue was unchanged at $5.0 billion.

Teva was forecast to earn $1.25 a share excluding items on revenue of $4.84 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Exchange rate fluctuations cut revenue by $368 million and adjusted operating income by $42 million. Excluding the currency impact and the divestment of U.S. over-the-counter plants, revenue grew 8 percent.

Revenue from generic drugs rose 9 percent in the first quarter to $2.6 billion, including a 37 percent jump in the United States, mainly due to the launch of a generic version of AstraZeneca's gastrointestinal drug Nexium.

In a bid to increase its share of the generic drug market, Teva has offered to pay $82 a share for Mylan in cash and stock, a bid that Mylan has rejected, saying it grossly undervalued the company.

Teva on Wednesday said it remains committed to acquiring Mylan, noting the deal was worth $43 billion on a fully diluted basis.

Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which accounts for about 50 percent of profit, fell 14 percent to $924 million.

Two weeks ago, U.S. regulators approved the first generic version of Copaxone, developed by Sandoz, a unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc . It is not yet known when they will launch their drug due to ongoing patent litigation.

Teva raised its 2015 estimate for diluted earnings per share excluding one-time items to $5.05-$5.35 from a previous forecast of $5.00-$5.30.

It declared a quarterly dividend of 34 cents a share.