Drug Stocks Plunge Was `Necessary' Bloodletting, Mylan CEO Says

  • Investors will refocus on `too-good-to-be-true' stocks: Bresch
  • CEO remains fully committed to pending acquisition of Meda

Mylan NV’s chief executive officer says that the drug industry’s pain over the last few months will eventually be her company’s gain.

“The rebasing of our sector was not only necessary but helped draw distinction and differentiation amongst our peers,” CEO Heather Bresch said on a call with investors Tuesday after the company reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates. “For far too long, one brush has been used across our industry and business models, when in fact the business models have been very diverse.”

Mylan shares are down 42 percent in the last 12 months as of Monday’s close. That’s worse than the 35 percent decline in a nine-member basket of other generic and specialty drug manufacturers that includes Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

Bresch said Tuesday that new scrutiny of drug companies, and falling stock prices over the last few months, will let investors refocus after what she called “too-good-to-be-true results, stock prices and multiples.”

The industry has been through a difficult stretch after lawmakers and regulators began focusing on drug prices in the U.S., calling out companies such as Valeant for acquiring old treatments and raising their prices significantly. Investors fled biotechnology, generic and brand-name drugmakers over concerns that there would be new regulation of the industry, such as price controls.

First-Quarter Beat

Mylan’s first-quarter earnings, excluding certain items, were 76 cents a share, beating the 75-cent average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares rose 1.8 percent to $43.47 at 1 p.m. in New York.

Mylan, which has a legal address in the Netherlands and is run from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, last year attempted to buy Perrigo Co., a manufacturer of over-the-counter and generic drugs. After a bruising fight, Perrigo shareholders didn’t tender enough of their shares for the deal to go through.

Perrigo trimmed its adjusted earnings estimate last week, citing “industry and competitive pressures” that have affected pricing expectations for its prescription business, which raised concerns that generic drug prices may be dropping more than anticipated. Bresch said that despite Perrigo’s warning, Mylan still expects the same declines in prices that it projected earlier this year.

Sky Not Falling

“The sky is not falling,” Bresch said in a telephone interview. “Our generic pricing is right where we always thought it would be.”

Mylan, meanwhile, has sought to diversify away from the traditional generic drugs that made up 87 percent of revenue last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In February, it agreed to buy Swedish drugmaker Meda AB for about $7.2 billion in cash and stock. It will give Mylan the allergy treatment Dymista and the European rights to its allergy auto-injector EpiPen, as well as medicines for respiratory and skin ailments. Mylan already owns the rights to EpiPen in most of the rest of the world. At the time, analysts criticized the deal as too expensive.

Earlier Tuesday, Meda reported first-quarter sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that missed analyst estimates.

“We are excited about our pending acquisition of Meda,” Bresch said. “We remain fully committed to and look forward to closing this transaction.”

Mylan gave additional first-quarter results on Tuesday:

  • Sales were $2.19 billion, up 17 percent from a year before.
  • Net income fell to $13.9 million, or 3 cents a share, from $56.6 million, or 13a share a year ago.
  • Mylan reiterated 2016 guidance from March, and said full-year revenue will be $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion, while adjusted earnings will be $4.85 to $5.15 a share.

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