Allergan tops Q4 sales forecasts, narrows loss ahead of pending takeover by AbbVie

Headline results for the fourth quarter:

Revenue

$4.4 billion (forecasts of $4.1 billion)

+6.6%

Loss

$317.2 million

Versus a loss of $4.3 billion

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

CEO Brent Saunders highlighted Allergan's "many important milestones in 2019 that will make a difference to patients for years to come," including FDA approval of the oral CGRP inhibitor Ubrelvy for acute migraine, two new approvals for Botox in paediatric spasticity, and clearance of Vraylar for bipolar depression. He added "our colleagues also grew our core business by 7.1% in 2019 and by 11% in the fourth quarter, creating strong momentum for 2020 and our proposed combination with AbbVie."

Other results:

  • US specialised therapeutic sales: $1.8 billion, up 0.7%, topping analyst projections of $1.7 billion, with gains seen in both therapeutic and cosmetic uses of Botox, as well as Alloderm and the Juvéderm collection, countered by a decline in CoolSculpting sales and lower Restasis revenues
  • US general medicine: $1.6 billion, up 15.2%, ahead of forecasts of $1.5 billion, as demand growth in Vraylar, Linzess, Viibryd, and Lo Loestrin was partially offset by lower revenues from products that lost exclusivity
  • Botox: $1 billion, up 7.9%, with therapeutic-use sales totaling $565.5 million, reflecting an increase of 6.7% over the prior-year quarter
  • Juvéderm collection: $347.3 million, up 4.5%
  • Restasis: $327.7 million, down 4.1%
  • Vraylar: $283.1 million, up 88.1%
  • Linzess/Constella: $238 million, up 12.5%
  • Bystolic/Byvalson: $170.2 million, up 11.9%
  • Lo Loestrin: $156.2 million, up 8.6%
  • Viibryd/Fetzima: $117.8 million, up 20.4%
  • Full-year revenue: $16.1 billion, up 1.9% from 2018
  • Full-year loss: $5.3 billion, versus a loss of $5.1 billion in 2018

Looking ahead:

Allergan expects that the merger with AbbVie will be finalised "around the end of the first quarter." Late last month, Allergan announced that it was divesting the experimental IL-23 inhibitor brazikumab and the pancreatic enzyme drug Zenpep to AstraZeneca and Nestlé, respectively, in conjunction with the ongoing regulatory approval process for the proposed AbbVie transaction.

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