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Mylan Says Fiscal 2007 Earnings Exceeded Its Forecast

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Apr 26 2007 at 7:50 PM
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By Catherine Larkin

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Mylan Laboratories Inc.'s fiscal 2007 earnings beat forecasts as the company increased sales of generic drugs that its rivals don't yet offer.

Profit excluding certain items was $1.60 to $1.63 a share for the year that ended March 31, Mylan said today in a statement of preliminary earnings. The company had forecast profit of $1.50 to $1.55 a share on Feb. 1. Sixteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projected earnings of $1.48 on average.

Mylan specializes in copies of brand-name medicines that are difficult to make, such as Johnson & Johnson's Duragesic pain patch and Ditropan XL bladder medicine. Exclusive sales of these generics have led revenue growth for the past six quarters, and new copies of Pfizer Inc.'s Norvasc blood-pressure tablets gave the fiscal fourth quarter an extra boost.

``Delayed generic Duragesic competition, coupled with a significant uptick in generic launch activity, gives us added confidence that Mylan's near-term operating performance could be solid,'' said Will Sawyer, an analyst at Leerink Swann & Co. in New York, in a note today. He rates the shares ``outperform'' and doesn't own any.

Shares of Mylan rose 60 cents, or 2.8 percent, to 21.80 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has risen 9.2 percent this year and declined 4 percent in the past 12 months.

Excluded From Earnings

Mylan began shipping copies of Norvasc, the world's best- selling medicine for high blood pressure, on March 23. Revenue from the drug was excluded from preliminary earnings as the company awaits a decision from U.S. regulators on whether competing generics can enter the market later this month.

A U.S. court barred the Food and Drug Administration from granting any approvals to other Norvasc copies until April 20, Mylan said in a separate statement today.

Generic Norvasc may bring in more than $2 billion in sales for the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company in fiscal 2008 if no competing drugs are introduced for six months, Sawyer said.

The first company to challenge a brand-name drug's patent is generally granted 180 days of exclusivity for a generic version when the patent expires. Prices usually fall as competition increases. Mylan's right to exclusive sales of generic Norvasc is being challenged by Apotex Inc., a closely held company based in Weston, Ontario.

Mylan's preliminary profit also excludes acquisition costs, expenses for stock-based compensation, public offerings of stock and convertible notes, favorable legal settlements, and foreign currency gains.

The company was the third-largest seller of generic drugs in the U.S. last year, according to data compiled by IMS Health Inc., a Fairfield, Connecticut-based research company. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. of Petah Tikva, Israel, ranked first, and Sandoz, a unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG, was second.

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