Updated from 10:15 a.m. to include analyst comments and an updated stock price.



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Teva Pharmaceutical

(TEVA) - Get Report

said Wednesday it anticipates $22 billion in net sales in 2012 with half of the sales coming from the United States.

Of the total, generic products are slated to make up $11.8 billion. One of these generic drugs is Teva's version of


(PFE) - Get Report

Lipitor. Teva said it would begin selling its generic version of Lipitor in late May.

In November, Teva forecast sales ranging from $18.3 billion to $18.6 billion in 2011/

Pfizer is expected to hold onto about

40% of Lipitor's market share

a six-month exclusivity period.

Teva's largest sales by brand in 2012 are expected to come from Copaxone, a drug for people with multiple sclerosis; Teva expects $3.8 billion in sales from this drug.

The Israel-based pharmaceutical company, the world's largest generic drugmaker, anticipates 2012 earnings of between $5.48 and $5.68 a share. The current consensus estimate is for earnings of $5.67 per share.

Gabelli analyst Jeff Jonas called Teva's revenue guidance "good" but said that the earnings per share view was disappointing compared to what analysts were already expecting.

Jonas noted that investors have been a little leery about Teva because of its dependence on Copaxone. This one item accounts for about 17% of the company's sales and 20% of its profits, Jonas estimated. Teva has had this drug for 10 years and is trying to extend its expiration date, Jonas added.

Jonas considers Teva a buy with an $80 price target based on its potential for "good, long-term profits" and it possibly benefiting from 10 major drugs and several smaller ones losing their patents next year, including blot-clot medicine Plavix and asthma medication Singulair. These drug patents that are expiring make up about $28 billion in brand name sales, Jonas said.

Teva also announced a $3 billion share buyback program, a level that represents about 8% of the company's current outstanding shares.

Teva shares dropped 1.37% to $41.76 in trading Wednesday.


Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York


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Alexandra Zendrian