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Barr Quarter in Line

Sales are a bit light, but the bottom line is strong.

Updated from 7:31 a.m. EST

Barr Pharmaceuticals


earnings fell from a year ago as the latest quarter was saddled with charges, but the results still beat analysts' expectations.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the drugmaker earned 78 cents a share, excluding on time-items, on sales of $332.4 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had predicted a profit of 74 cents a share. Revenue, however, was around $8 million short of the consensus Wall Street target.

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After counting all items, Barr earned $52.8 million, or 49 cents, for the latest quarter, down from a profit of $83.2 million, or 78 cents a share, last year. Revenue in last year's comparable quarter was $310.4 million.

The company is changing its fiscal year-end to Dec. 31, so the latest quarter isn't numbered. Previously, the fiscal year ended on June 30.

The most recent quarter contained a charge of 25 cents a share, reflecting a decline in the fair value of a foreign-currency option purchased in connection with Barr's acquisition of the Croatian generic-drug maker Pliva. The quarter also included a charge of 4 cents for a payment related to settling a patent challenge.

Pliva's contribution won't be recorded until the quarter ending Dec. 31. The deal closed Oct. 24. Barr will provide full-year 2007 guidance in February, as well as consolidated financial results for the six months ended Dec. 31.

During the most recent quarter, sales of generic drugs dropped 5% from last year to $198 million. Sales of brand-name drugs jumped 73% to $103 million. Revenue from other sources, such as alliances, dropped to $32 million from $44 million.