Teva Cuts Outlook Again in Perfect Storm of Problems

By Rory Jones Features Dow Jones Newswires

The world's biggest seller of generic drugs, Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., cut its full-year outlook for the second time this year, blaming price pressure in its U.S. business and greater competition for its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug.

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The Israeli drugmaker cut its earnings per share estimate for the year Thursday as it predicted weaker revenue from its U.S. generics business. It also warned it would face competition earlier than expected for a high-dose version of its Copaxone drug, which makes up roughly 20% of sales.

Teva has grappled with a perfect storm of problems this year, as the U.S. generics business has struggled with a tough price environment and its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug has faced competition from rivals.

The drug giant posted disappointing third-quarter results on Thursday. Adjusted net profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30 was $1 billion, compared with $1.4 billion in the same period the year before, while revenue rose slightly over the same period to $5.6 billion.

Teva said it now expects adjusted earnings per share of $3.77 to $3.87 for 2017, down by roughly 30 cents from earlier guidance.

Shares were down 7.6% on Thursday afternoon in Tel Aviv. They are down more 60% since the end of 2016, a decline that has erased more than $60 billion in market capitalization.

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Saddled with billions in debt after a series of ill-timed acquisitions, Teva is hastily trying to sell assets to make financing repayments. Net debt fell to slightly $34.7 billion after Teva said it paid down roughly $600 million of loans.

It had also been without a permanent chief executive for nine months. In September it appointed industry veteran Kare Schultz to lead a turnaround at the firm but the new chief only began work on Wednesday and hasn't communicated a new strategy yet.

Teva in August said it had taken a $6.1 billion write-down on its U.S. generics unit to reflect dimming prospects, dragging the company's quarterly net loss down to $6.04 billion.

Write to Rory Jones at rory.jones@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2017 09:36 ET (13:36 GMT)