Teva Shares Plunge as Sales of Copaxone Disappoint

  • Copaxone sales were $960 million, short of $1 billion estimate
  • Completion of Allergan generics acquisition may be delayed

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares dropped to the lowest in more than four months as revenue from its best-selling drug Copaxone fell short of expectations and the Israeli company signaled a delay in completing the acquisition of Allergan Plc’s generics unit.

Profit excluding some costs was little changed at $1.12 billion, or $1.28 a share, the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That may not compare to the $1.30-per-share average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg because of an equity offering in December.

The company didn’t give full-year guidance as it works toward completing the $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generic-drug business. That purchase may be delayed to April, instead of being completed in the first quarter, executives said on a call with analysts.

Coming off the largest acquisition in the company’s history, Teva plans to be "more selective" and spend no more than $3 billion on deals this year, Chief Executive Officer Erez Vigodman said during the call.

Shares of Teva fell 4.5 percent to 215.10 shekels, the lowest since Oct. 7, as of 4:50 p.m. in Tel Aviv. The company’s American depositary receipts dropped 2.9 percent to $55.26.

Revenue from multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone declined 14 percent to $960 million, missing the $1 billion in revenue that analysts had estimated. Lower volumes affected U.S. sales of the drug, which fell 9 percent to $760 million. Teva has converted 78 percent of American patients to a 40-milligram version of the injection that has patent protection until 2030.

The company doesn’t expect to see significant changes in the pricing environment for generic drugs.

Revenue for the fourth quarter fell to $4.88 billion from $5.17 billion, hurt by fluctuating exchange rates. Sales of generic medicines dropped 9 percent to $2.26 billion.

Teva forecasts sales of $4.7 billion to $4.9 billion in the first quarter, with earnings of $1.16 to $1.20 a share. 

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