Teva Pharmaceutical Q3 Profit and Revenue Top Estimates
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd (NYSE: TEVA – $37.40) reported flat earnings for the third quarter, but beat analysts’ estimates by a penny, a day after its chief executive was ousted by the board. Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker and Israel’s largest company, earned an adjusted $1.27 per share, compared with $1.28 a year earlier. Revenue edged up 2% percent to $5.1 billion about $100 million above consensus forecasts. Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which accounts for about 20% percent of sales and about half of profit, rose 1% to $1.05 billion. The drug faces competition from oral treatments that are already available or expected to hit the market in coming years. Teva on Wednesday said CEO Jeremy Levin was leaving after just 18 months on the job and Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh would stand in on an interim basis effective immediately. Earlier this month, Teva said it would cut 5,000 jobs or 10% of its workforce, accelerating a cost-cutting plan as it prepares for lower-priced competition to Copaxone. I am not happy with the change in management and such an event may hinder a suitable replacement as the company continues to pursue a turnaround strategy. It appears that TEVA is in a state of flux right now as the board of directors, and specifically Chairman Philip Frost, is overly influencing day-to-day operations. The market erased what little price appreciation progress Teva had made over the past month following the news. Nonetheless, I am going to keep TEVA in the portfolio for now pending further review of the developments with top management. Third quarter earnings and revenue figures show promise; the dividend – equal to a yield of 3.2% – is well covered and has grown at an annual rate of 22% over the past five years; and future dividend increases are likely along with modest share buybacks. The shares are trading at 7.5 times 2013 earnings and the downside risk is minimal, in my opinion, barring any more surprises. This choice may take longer to materialize in value than I had originally planned, but is worth holding onto for what could be alluring capital gains potential in the years to come, but clearly a stock to watch.