( KG) said Tuesday that it expects 2005 revenue to be in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion, or below the consensus prediction of Wall Street.
However, King declined to provide earnings projections for the year, citing uncertainty over generic competition for one of its top-selling drugs. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been predicting revenue of $1.52 billion for the Bristol, Tenn.-based company.
The Thomson First Call consensus EPS is 87 cents for the fiscal year, but the range of projections is from 63 cents to $1.11.
The company didn't provide predictions for first-quarter financial results, which will be unveiled on May 10.
King's executives discussed the company's future Tuesday in a telephone conference call with analysts. Their comments were both long-awaited by Wall Street and long-delayed due to an assortment of key and complicated issues, including the
restating of earnings and the
eventual unraveling of a proposed takeover by
King is trying to convince investors and analysts that it can overcome past problems, which also include ongoing investigations by the
Securities and Exchange Commission
and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Brian Markison, the chief executive, said he expects the investigations to be resolved this year, but he added that the precise timetable is unknown.
Reprising some comments that he made last month in announcing 2004's financial results, Marksion also said King is shifting its focus from acquiring mature products to developing and acquiring novel compounds with good prospects for expanding future sales.
King's collaboration with
in the development of a treatment for male and female sexual dysfunction is an example of King's revised strategy, Markison said. The company also expects to continue divesting "non-core assets," he said.
Markison added that the uncertainty over the timing for generic competition for the muscle pain drug Skelaxin, King's second-best selling medication, prevents him from offering an EPS estimate for the fiscal year at this time. Skelaxin produced $238.6 million in sales last year. The blood pressure drug Altace was the top-seller with $347.3 million. Total revenue last year was $1.3 billion, down from $1.49 billion in sales in 2003.
King has reorganized and restructured many of its operations, and it has replaced many top managers. Total full-time employment was 2,746 as of Feb. 28, down from the roughly 3,000 employees at the end of 2003. It appears that most of the cuts have come from the sales force, which is down to 1,050 from 1,300 at the end of 2003.
King's stock slipped 8 cents, or 1%, to $7.91.