Teva Raises 2018 Earnings Outlook, Says 'Very Good Signs' of New Drug Launch

Teva has been counting on its long-awaited migraine drug to revive its fortunes after suffering a drop in revenue

Teva building.
Eliyahu Hershkowitz

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries raised its earnings outlook for 2018 on Thursday and said it was seeing "very good signs of a successful launch" for its long-awaited migraine treatment Ajovy

Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker, has been counting on Ajovy to revive its fortunes after it was forced to restructure to tackle a debt crisis. 

The release of the migraine drug had been delayed due to U.S. regulatory concerns about the manufacturing process, but Ajovy finally won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September. 

Ajovy suffered a setback in October when Express Scripts Holding Co, one of the largest U.S. prescription benefits managers, said it will cover new migraine drugs from Eli Lilly and Amgen Inc, but exclude Teva's treatment. 
Teva said it had earned 68 cents per share excluding one-time items in the July-September period, down from $1.00 a year earlier. 

Analysts had forecast Teva would earn 54 cents a share ex-items on revenue of $4.53 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. 

Teva confirmed its revenue fell 19 percent to $4.53 billion due to generic competition to its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, price erosion in its U.S. generics business and a loss of revenue from the divestment of some of its products and the discontinuation of some activities. 

North American sales of Copaxone tumbled 43 percent in the quarter to $463 million while generic product sales in North America fell 25 percent. 

Teva raised its full-year forecast for adjusted EPS to $2.80-$2.95, from a previous estimate of $2.55-$2.80. 

"Our restructuring plan has already resulted in a significant cost reduction of $1.8 billion in the first nine months of the year and we are on track to achieve a reduction of $3.0 billion by the end of 2019, while continuing to pay down our debt," Teva Chief Executive Kare Schultz said.