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Hi-Tech Pharmacal Slips, Falls

Shares slump on disappointing quarterly earnings.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal

(HITK)

shares slipped 10% Wednesday after the generic-drug maker reported earnings that fell shy of expectations.

Hi-Tech reported a loss of $2.2 million, or 19 cents a share, for the quarter ended April 30, compared with earnings of $2.1 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same period in 2006. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of one cent a share.

The Amityville, N.Y.-company lost 19 cents a share for the fiscal year, in comparison with earnings of 85 cents a share in the year prior.

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The company's quarterly net sales decreased by 27% year over year to $13.3 million from $18.1 million, while sales for the year decreased 24.5% to $58.9 million from $78 million.

Specifically, Hi-Tech said that the quarterly generic-drug sales fell 19% mostly due to pricing declines and that sales for its health-care-products division, or over-the-counter products, fell 24% to $1.9 million. It said sales for its Zostrix line, which deals with arthritis pain, were down.

"Fiscal 2007 was challenging as we faced generic pricing pressure and increased competition. In addition we were delayed in launching several products," said CEO David Seltzer.

The company didn't give guidance for fiscal 2008 but said it expects to launch five products within the year. Hi-Tech currently has 13 products awaiting FDA approval, which it said target brand and generic sales of more than $2 billion.

"Hi-Tech's future success will be based on a strong internal R&D pipeline of high-barrier generics, an aggressive approach to in-licensing generic development opportunities, an efficient manufacturing operation, and a consistent flow of unique OTC branded products," Seltzer said.

The stock slid $1.08 to $10.01.