Barr Net Up, Revenue Down

The drugmaker beats expectations and also guides in line.
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Barr Pharmaceuticals


on Wednesday reported earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, that slightly exceeded the profit from the same period in 2003 even though revenue fell substantially.

Barr earned $59.4 million, or 56 cents a share, on revenue of $257.4 million, for the second quarter of its fiscal year. For the same period in 2003, excluding a one-time charge worth 21 cents a share, the company earned 54 cents on revenue of $369.8 million.

The drop in revenue wasn't a surprise. Barr had been selling an antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin, under a non-exclusive supply agreement since June 2003. When the company's supplier lost patent protection on the drug in June 2004, generic competitors moved in. As a result, Barr sold $1 million worth of the antibiotic during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004, compared with $145 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2003.

Barr's second-quarter earnings per share beat by one penny the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call, even though sales were $1.7 million below the average estimate.

"A doubling in the sale of our proprietary products offset the anticipated decrease in sales of ... Ciprofloxacin, and was the primary driver of our earnings results in the quarter," said Bruce L. Downey, the chairman and CEO. Barr sells both brand-name drugs and generic medications, and its biggest source of revenue is oral contraceptives.

The company reiterated its EPS guidance for the fiscal year, which ends June 30, at a range of $2.35 to $2.45. The Thomson First Call consensus is $2.38. The guidance excludes possible results from patent challenge litigation or share buybacks.

Shares added 4 cents to $47.59.