REUTERS - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries reported quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates on Thursday due to improved profitability for its generic medicines, and raised the lower end of its 2014 earnings forecast.
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Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker and Israel's biggest company, earned $1.32 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the third quarter, compared with $1.27 a year earlier. Revenue was unchanged at $5.1 billion.
Teva was forecast to earn $1.24 a share excluding items on revenue of $5.1, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"We delivered improvement in profitability in all businesses, particularly in global generics, which saw profitability increase by 40 percent year over year," Chief Executive Erez Vigodman said, adding that the company was committed to executing its cost reduction program.
Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which accounts for about 20 percent of sales and 50 percent of profit, rose 5 percent to $1.1 billion. The injectable drug faces competition from oral treatments as well as cheaper generics in coming years.
Teva raised its outlook for full-year earnings per share excluding one-time items to $5.00-$5.10 from a previous estimate of $4.90-$5.10, assuming there is no Copaxone competition this year. It sees revenue of $20-$20.3 billion, compared with a previous estimate of $19.9-$20.8 billion.
Analysts were estimating Teva would earn $4.97 a share.
It said the introduction of generic competition to Copaxone could reduce operating income by $40-$50 million per month.
"Our pipeline is poised to deliver significant long-term value and we will continue the efforts to further deepen and develop it. We are well positioned to achieve our goals for 2014," Vigodman said.
Teva increased its share repurchase program by $1.7 billion to $3 billion with purchases to begin promptly.
It declared a quarterly dividend of 1.21 shekels (32 cents) a share, unchanged from the second quarter.