What Held Back Teva in Q4

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) released its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The pharma giant said that it had $0.53 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.56 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $0.54 in EPS and $4.52 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, Teva said it had EPS of $0.93 on $5.46 billion in revenue.

In the latest quarter, Teva recognized a tax benefit of $139 million, or 4%, on pretax loss of $3.387 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the firm recognized a tax benefit of $1.471 billion on pretax loss of $13.208 billion.

Overall, revenue decreased 16%, or 14% in local currency terms, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. This was mainly due to generic competition to Copaxone, a decline in revenues in the U.S. generics business and loss of revenues following the divestment of certain products and discontinuation of certain activities.

In terms of its segments, the company reported:

  • North America revenues decreased 17% year over year to $2.24 billion.
  • Europe revenues decreased 17% to $1.20 billion.
  • International revenues decreased over 18% to $740 million.

Looking ahead to 2019, the firm expects to see EPS in the range of $2.20 to $2.50 and revenue between $17.0 billion and $17.4 billion. Consensus estimates call for $2.81 in EPS and $17.93 billion in revenue for the year.

Kare Schultz, Teva’s president and CEO, commented:

2018 was the first year of our restructuring plan and we have met or exceeded all of our key financial targets for the year. The full year yielded a cost base reduction of $2.2 billion, exceeding our 2018 target, and we are well on track to deliver the total $3.0 billion reduction in 2019 as compared to the 2017 spend base. Ajovy is performing very well since its September launch in the U.S. with growing demand for the first and only anti-CGRP treatment with both quarterly and monthly dosing for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. We will focus our investments on growing Ajovy and continuing our success with Austedo, with both franchises positioned to be important growth drivers for Teva.

Shares of Teva closed Tuesday at $19.12, in a 52-week range of $14.59 to $25.96. The consensus price target is $22.47. Following the announcement, the stock was down 11% at $17.00 in early trading indications Wednesday.

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