Teva Pharm nudges up earnings forecast, names new CFO

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TA:) nudged up its full-year earnings guidance on Thursday, after reporting a drop in third-quarter profit that broadly met expectations.

The world’s largest generic drugmaker earned 58 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items in the July-September period, down from 68 cents a year earlier.

It cited higher tax expenses and lower operating profit, which were partially offset by lower finance expenses.

Revenue fell 6% to $4.26 billion due to generic competition for its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone and declines in sales in the United States, Russia and Japan, although it posted gains in some of its newly launched drugs.

Analysts had forecast Israel-based Teva (N:) would earn 59 cents a share ex-items on revenue of $4.24 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Revenue in North America dipped 9% to $2.05 billion, with North American sales of Copaxone down 41‮%‬ to $271 million. Its new migraine drug Ajovy had revenue of $25 million, while sales of Huntington’s treatment Austedo rose to $105 million from $62 million.

Teva is looking to Ajovy and Austedo to boost revenue and help it pay down its huge debt load.

Chief ‮E‬xecutive Kare Schultz said Teva remained on track to achieve a two-year restructuring target of $3 billion in spending reductions.

Teva said it had legal settlements of $468 million in the third quarter, mainly in connection with opioid cases in the United States.

Its debt load had fallen to $26.9 billion at the end of September from $28.7 billion three months earlier.

For 2019, the company raised its forecast for adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to $2.30-$2.50 from $2.20-$2.50 and revenue to $17.2-$17.4 billion from $17.0-$17.4 billion.

Analysts are forecasting EPS of $2.38 on revenue of $17.18 billion.

Teva also named Eli Kalif as its new chief financial officer effective Dec. 22.

Teva’s shares were down 1.3% in afternoon trade in Tel Aviv.

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