Forest Labs Raises Full-Year Profit Forecast After Beat

Features Reuters


Forest Laboratories Inc's results handily beat analysts' estimates in the first full quarter under new Chief Executive Brent Saunders, and the company raised its full-year profit forecast.

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The company's shares rose about 8 percent before the bell on Tuesday.

Forest raised its adjusted earnings forecast to $1.25 to $1.35 per share for its fiscal year ending March 31, from the 95 cents to $1.15 it estimated in October.

The company reported a net income of about $18 million, or 7 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, from a loss of $153.6 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 27 cents per share.

Total revenue rose about 23 percent to $878.4 million.

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Analysts on average had expected earnings of 4 cents per share on revenue of $827.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales of Forest's Alzheimer's drug, Namenda, rose about 5 percent to $363.7 million. The drug, which accounted for more than a third of total product sales in the quarter, is set to lose patent protection next year.

Revenue from Bystolic, Forest's hypertension drug, rose about 20 percent to $130.7 million.

Forest's results were hit in the year-ago quarter after sales of its antidepressant, Lexapro, were eroded by competition from generics.

Brent Saunders took over as CEO on Oct. 1 after the company came under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns more than 10 percent of its shares.

Saunders, who previously ran Bausch & Lomb Inc, has said Forest would expand its portfolio through acquisitions that include the nearly $3 billion purchase of specialty drugmaker Aptalis announced two weeks ago.

Shares of the company closed at $68.74 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.