Teva posts third-quarter loss on charges; sales rise 14 percent

Teva posted Thursday a loss of $79 million for the third quarter compared with a profit of $916 million in the year-ago period, due to charges of more than $1.1 billion related to pending patent litigation and the company's ongoing R&D review. Revenue in the three-month period rose 14 percent to $5 billion, falling just short of analyst estimates of $5.1 billion.

The company noted that the charges in the quarter included a contingency of $670 million related to pantoprazole patent infringement litigation and an impairment of $481 million due to the pipeline review. Teva said that the latter charge is mostly a result of the decision to return obatoclax for the treatment of small cell lung to the preclinical phase, as well as decisions related to CEP-37247 for the treatment of sciatica and Nuvigil for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Quarterly sales of Copaxone rose 13 percent year-over-year to just over $1 billion, which Teva indicated was partly due to the "take-back of marketing and distribution rights in Europe." In the US, revenue from the multiple sclerosis therapy increased 3 percent to $775 million, while sales outside the country surged 54 percent to $271 million, with the company noting that there were "unusually strong sales in Russia."

In other results, Teva said Azilect sales grew 8 percent to $77 million year-over-year, driven by higher demand in the US and Europe. Treanda and Nuvigil, both of which came with the acquisition of Cephalon, generated three-month sales of $160 million and $94 million, respectively. Meanwhile, Teva reported that Provigil sales reached $53 million.

Three-monthly revenue in the US jumped 33 percent to $2.6 billion, lifted by the inclusion of Cephalon products, while sales of generic drugs in the country rose 24 percent to $1.1 billion, benefiting from the launch of nine new medicines, including a generic version of Takeda's Actos. In Europe, sales increased 1 percent versus the same period of 2011 to $1.4 billion, with revenue negatively affected by foreign currency and lower generic sales as a result of economic conditions and healthcare reforms. Sales of generic drugs in the region slipped 13 percent to $798 million. Teva added that to address the issues in Europe, the company will adjust its strategy "to focus more on profitable and sustainable growth rather than market share."

Teva CEO Jeremy Levin said "we are pleased to report solid operating results for the quarter and look forward to closing the year within the guidance we provided in May." The company narrowed its 2012 sales forecast to between $20.1 billion and $20.7 billion, from a previous estimate of $20 billion to $21 billion, and narrowed earnings to $5.32 to $5.38 per share, from an earlier forecast of $5.30 to $5.40 per share. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $5.36 per share on revenues of $20.5 billion for the full-year.

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