Teva Pharm's First Quarter Profit Declines Less Than Expected

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An employee collects newly-manufactured pills at the tablet production plant at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel.Credit: Bloomberg

REUTERS — Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries reported a smaller than expected decline in first-quarter profit as sales of generic drugs fell 17 percent while revenue from its top drug Copaxone rose.

Teva, which is in the process of buying Allergan's Actavis generic business for $40.5 billion, said on Monday it earned $1.20 per share excluding one-time items, down from $1.36 a year earlier. Excluding equity offerings on December 15 to finance the Actavis deal, EPS in the quarter was $1.36.

Revenue slipped 3 percent to $4.81 billion, although excluding foreign exchange fluctuations, revenue fell 1 percent.

Teva, the world's biggest generic drug maker, was forecast to earn $1.17 excluding one-off items on revenue of $4.77 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone rose 9 percent to $1.0 billion. The drug, which accounts for about 20 percent of its revenue and 50 percent of profit, is now facing competition.

Sandoz, part of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG NOVM.VX, and Momenta Pharmaceuticals last June launched a once daily 20 mg version called Glatopa.

Teva forecast adjusted second-quarter earnings of $1.16-$1.20, or $1.32-$1.36 without the equity offerings, and revenue of $4.7-$4.9 billion. It said the outlook does not include any revenue or profit from the Actavis acquisition, which it expects to close in June.

It will pay a quarterly dividend of 34 cents a share.

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