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Teva Earnings Climb on Higher U.S., Copaxone Revenue

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July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said second-quarter profit rose 32 percent on increased sales of generic drugs in the U.S. and of Copaxone, the multiple sclerosis treatment that may face generic competition from Novartis AG and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Earnings climbed to $981 million, or $1.08 a share, from $742 million, or 83 cents, the Petah Tikva, Israel-based company said in a statement today. That excludes costs linked to acquisitions such as the purchase of Germany’s Ratiopharm GmbH. Profit beat the average estimate of $1.04 a share from 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

About 20 percent of Teva’s $3.8 billion in sales came from Copaxone, a proprietary drug discovered by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Investors are concerned about competition from Novartis and Momenta after U.S. regulators on July 23 approved their copy of another complex medicine, Sanofi-Aventis SA’s Lovenox.

“It’s a very good quarter,” said David Levinson, a Tel Aviv-based analyst for Bank Hapoalim, in a telephone interview. “Though what will happen to Copaxone is more important than today’s report.” Levinson has an “outperform” rating on the stock.

Profit this year will be $4.50 to $4.60 a share, up from a previous forecast of $4.40 to $4.60, Chief Executive Officer Shlomo Yanai told analysts on a conference call. Teva shares rose 0.6 percent to 196.50 shekels at 4 p.m. in Tel Aviv trading.

‘Important Step’

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a generic Lovenox “is an important step” in the regulator’s thinking, said Ronny Gal, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “It bodes well for biosimilar developers” and makes approval of generic Copaxone more likely, Gal, who rates Teva shares “market perform,” wrote in a note to investors yesterday.

Teva, the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs, has said it expects Copaxone to face additional competition from new oral MS treatments from Novartis and Germany’s Merck KGaA by the end of the year. The company expects to lose about $1 billion in Copaxone revenue to competitors by 2015, Yanai said in January.

Copaxone sales climbed 13 percent to $773 million, while revenue in North America increased 17 percent to $2.47 billion.

Sales in Europe, where Teva agreed in March to buy Ratiopharm for 3.63 billion euros ($4.72 billion) to reduce its dependence on Copaxone and the U.S., rose 4 percent to $811 million. A decline in the value of the euro, pound and forint relative to the dollar hurt revenue in Europe, Teva said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Kresge in Zurich at nkresge@bloomberg.net

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