Forest's second-quarter sales, profit jump on new product growth

Forest Laboratories posted second-quarter product sales of $811.4 million, up 17.3 percent on the year-ago period, driven by revenue from new products, the company reported Tuesday. Net income in the quarter reached $70 million, versus $20.8 million in the same period of last year, which the drugmaker noted was partly down to lower R&D spending.

"There is rejuvenation underway at Forest as we return to growth," remarked CEO Brent Saunders, adding "we are launching new products and we are developing new drugs to drive future growth." Saunders, who was appointed as CEO earlier this year, replacing Howard Solomon, noted that the company is "conducting a thorough review of our business operations and evaluating changes to our strategy" due to patent expirations. Forest's Lexapro started facing generic competition last year, while Namenda is set to lose exclusivity in 2015.

Forest said that three-month sales of Namenda rose 7.8 percent versus the year-ago period to $396.3 million, while revenue from the extended-release version of the product, which was launched in the US in June, reached $11.5 million. The company noted that sales of its "next-generation" drugs climbed 49.9 percent compared to last year to $303 million, with second-quarter revenue from Bystolic increasing by 22.1 percent year-over-year to $130 million.

The drugmaker's overall quarterly revenue reached $855.3 million, up from $761 million in the same period of last year and beating analyst projections of $841 million. Forest also increased its full-year earnings estimate by 15 cents and now expects earnings of between 95 cents per share and $1.15 per share. Analysts estimate earnings of 96 cents for fiscal 2014.

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