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Allergan Tops Q4 Earnings Forecast, Sees $63 Billion AbbVie Deal Closing in Q1

Allergan said it won't host an conference call with analysts to discuss Q4 earnings, but sees $63 billion AbbVie deal closing in the first quarter of this year.

Allergan plc  (AGN)  posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Monday and said it expects its impending $63 billion takeover by AbbVie  (ABBV)  to close by the end of March.

Allergan said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at $5.22 per share, up 21.7% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $4.57 per share . Group revenues, the company said, rose 6.6% to $4.351 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $4.08 billion tally.

"I am proud of Allergan's colleagues who achieved many important milestones in 2019 that will make a difference to patients for years to come. They achieved FDA approval of UBRELVY™, a first-in-class oral treatment for migraine; two new approvals for BOTOX for pediatric spasticity; approval for VRAYLAR for bipolar depression; and filings for two new eye care drugs - Bimatoprost SR for glaucoma and Abicipar for Age-related Macular Degeneration," said CEO Brent Saunders. "Our colleagues also grew our core business by 7.1 percent in 2019 and by 11.0 percent in the fourth quarter (excluding exchange), creating strong momentum for 2020 and our proposed combination with AbbVie."

Allergan shares were marked 0.3% higher in early Monday trading following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $197.60 each 

AbbVie said in late June that it will pay $188.24 each in cash and shares for Allergan's outstanding common stock, a 45% premium to the group's closing price on June 24, in a deal that would value the Dublin-based group at around $63 billion. AbbVie said the deal will add around 10% to the group's adjusted earnings in the first year, and will be incorporated in Delaware upon completion.

AbbVie's Richard Gonzalez will continue as chairman and Chief executive officer, the company said, and its main headquarters will remain in North Chicago, Illinois. Allergan CEO Saunders will join the combined group's board when the deal is closed.

Last week, AbbVie posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Friday, and forecast solid 2020 profits, as rising cancer drug sales helped offset flat revenues from its Humira rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

AbbVie's rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Humira, held revenues flat to last year at $4.92 billion despite increasing competition from generic rivals, while sales of Imbruvica, its cancer treatment, rose 29% to $1.3 billion. The drugmaker also said two of its key new treatments, Skyrizi and Rinvoq, could bring in as much as $1.7 billion in sales this year.

Looking into the 2020 financial year, AbbVie said it seel adjusted earnings in the region of $9.61 to $9.71 per share, firmly ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of $9.48 per share. Revenue growth, the company said, should hit 8% on an operational basis.