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Virbac Falls Most in 11 Years on Quarterly Sales: Paris Mover

Virbac SA (VIRP) declined the most in 11 years after the French maker of medicines for animals posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter sales.

The shares retreated as much as 15 percent, the biggest intraday decline since July 2002, to 152.50 euros. The stock was down 13 percent at 155 euros as of 2:46 p.m. in Paris, paring the advance for the Carros, France-based company to 3.4 percent this year.

Virbac, which makes animal vaccines and health-care products for pets, said yesterday its first-quarter sales climbed 3.6 percent to 182.8 million euros ($240 million). That’s “10 percent below forecasts,” Laurent Gelebart and Vincent Meunier, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas in Paris, wrote in a note to clients today, cutting their share-price estimate to 146 euros from 150 euros.

“One quarter does not make a trend, but in view of Virbac’s stretched valuation we expect a negative share-price reaction,” the analysts wrote.

Excluding acquisitions, revenue dropped 2.3 percent in the quarter, Virbac said in yesterday’s statement. That’s the first negative quarter of organic sales growth for the company since the first three months of 2005, according to the Exane analysts. Virbac said difficult economies in the Mediterranean region and exchange rates were among the reasons for a slow performance.

The company was founded in 1968 by French veterinarian Pierre-Richard Dick. The Dick family owns a 50 percent stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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