Teva Pharmaceutical Beats Estimates, Reaffirms Guidance
Israeli-based drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE: TEVA – $50.40) reported higher first quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates by a penny, due in part to the launch of several generic products in the United States where product revenues increased by 17% and profitability by 31%. Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker, earned an adjusted $1.22 per share compared with $1.12 a year earlier. Revenue rose 2% to $5.0 billion, about in line with consensus. Management maintained its full year 2014 earnings and revenue forecast, which is highly dependent on the future of maintaining exclusivity of its highly profitable COPAXONE multiple sclerosis drug. Global sales of COPAXONE, which accounts for about 20% of sales and 50% of profit, edged up 1% for the period. The new CEO of Teva wants to concentrate more on the company’s roots in generic drugs and is not ruling out an acquisition to provide the company more exposure to the lucrative sector. The company continued to earn decent cash flow and went on to declare its regularly quarterly dividend equal to $0.34, which yields 2.7% at current levels. Short any negative news on the COPAXONE front, I would maintain a position in an account that can assume some risk.