Forest Labs Falls After Quarterly Loss Exceeds Estimates

Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX), the drugmaker that lost patent protection on its top-selling product in March, plunged the most in three months after posting a third-quarter loss wider than analysts’ expectations.

Forest fell 1.3 percent to $37.11 at 9:45 a.m. New York time, after declining to $36.20 in the biggest intraday drop since Oct. 16. The loss in the period ended Dec. 31 was 21 cents a share after one-time items were excluded, the New York-based drugmaker said in a statement today. The result compared with an 8-cent loss that was the average of 23 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales declined 42 percent to $678 million, missing the $774 million estimate of analysts. Forest’s revenue has been tumbling after protection ended on the antidepressant Lexapro, once its biggest-seller with more than $2 billion in annual sales. The company is pushing to offset the decline with the sale of newer drugs, including the lung treatment Tudorza and bowel disorder medicine Linzess.

“The bottom-line is that we view these near-term numbers as not overly meaningful as the focus remains on management’s ability to launch Tudorza and Linzess,” Steve Scala, an analyst with Cowen & Co. in Boston, said in a note to clients Jan. 14.

Forest shares gained 22 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.

Forest said it expects full-year profit at the lower end of its forecast of 45 cents to 60 cents a share. Revenue may be $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shannon Pettypiece in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.