Aspen Tumbles Most in Two Years on Venezuela Loss, Disposals

  • African drugmaker reports currency loss of 870 million rand
  • Company also loses profit from operations sold to Strides

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. declined the most in more than two years after Africa’s biggest maker of generic drugs said the impact of selling two pharmaceutical portfolios and a one-time currency-related loss in Venezuela would weigh on earnings.

The stock plunged 5.8 percent to 340.83 rand by the close in Johannesburg, the steepest decline since June 2014. More than 4.8 million shares traded, or quadruple the three-month daily average. The shares have gained 10 percent this year, valuing the company at 156 billion rand ($11.2 billion).

Earnings per share fell by 15 percent to 20 percent to as low as 9.12 rand in the 12 months through June, the Durban-based company said in a statement after the market closed on Wednesday. So-called normalized headline earnings per share, which exclude one-time items, gained as much as 16 percent. It estimated the currency loss in Venezuela at 870 million rand.

Aspen, which sells products such as hormones, steroids, infant formula and anti-retroviral medicines in more than 150 countries, announced the sale of about 130 drugs to Strides Arcolab Ltd.’s Australian business and a portfolio of six branded products to Strides Singapore in May 2015. “The contribution to the Aspen results by the divestments is consequently substantially reduced in the current period,” the company said.

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