Teva Pharmaceutical 1Q Profit Sinks 27 percent

(AP) —

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s first-quarter earnings fell 27 percent, as generic competition, a weaker Japanese yen and other factors dragged down revenue for one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers.

The Israeli company said Thursday that U.S. sales of one of its brand-name drugs, Provigil, plunged 92 percent in the first quarter to only $24 million.

Provigil treats tiredness caused by narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and changes in work schedule. Teva acquired the drug when it bought Cephalon, Inc. in 2011. As part of that deal, antitrust regulators required Teva to sell U.S. rights to generic Provigil to another company.

Par Pharmaceutical Cos. bought those rights and began selling a generic version of the drug last year, as did another company, Mylan Inc.

Total U.S. revenue for Teva fell 11 percent, to $2.44 billion, compared to last year’s first quarter. European revenue climbed 11 percent to $1.49 billion, while the total from the rest of the world slid more than 3 percent to $966 million.

Overall, the drugmaker earned $630 million, or 74 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compares to $859 million, or 97 cents per share, the previous year. Adjusted earnings totaled $1.12 per share in this year’s quarter, excluding items like amortization, and restructuring and acquisition expenses.

Total revenue fell 4 percent to $4.9 billion.

The performance topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $1.11 per share on $4.86 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

U.S. revenue from the company’s multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone climbed 17 percent to $1.06 billion.

The company said exchange-rate differences, mainly due to the weaker yen, chopped revenue by about $35 million. That also helped lower expenses, so the exchange-rate changes resulted in a smaller, $12-million hit on operating income.

Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley also said Thursday that the company plans to close by 2017 a Sellersville, Pa. generic drug plant that employs about 450 people. The company decided on the closing after reviewing its global network and demand. The plant makes more than 50 products and produces tablets, capsules, liquids, creams and ointments.

Teva employs about 46,000 people worldwide and 9,483 in North America, Bradley said in an email.

U.S.-traded shares of Teva fell 30 cents to $37.80 in afternoon trading.

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