Teva Has Billion-Dollar Loss

A charge related to Ivax crushes the bottom line.
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Israeli drugmaker

Teva Pharmaceuticals

(TEVA) - Get Report

reported a gaping first-quarter loss Wednesday due to a charge related to its acquisition of Ivax. Its adjusted earnings missed Wall Street forecasts.

Teva lost $1 billion, or $1.40 a share, in the quarter, compared with earnings of $259.1 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter had a charge of $1.2 billion for Ivax. Excluding that and a 1-cent stock-options expense, Teva earned 38 cents a share in the latest quarter, missing the Thomson First Call estimate by 3 cents.

First-quarter sales rose 28% from a year ago to $1.67 billion, also short of the Wall Street consensus, which was for sales of $1.9 billion. Teva said sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone rose 29% from a year ago to $329 million. By region, North American pharmaceuticals sales rose 17% to $851 million, making up 57% of total sales, while European pharmaceutical sales rose 17% to $381 million, or 26% of total sales.

"We are very pleased with the results of this special quarter in which we began, and have made excellent progress in, the integration of Ivax into Teva," the company said. "Today, Teva's scope, scale and geographic reach are unmatched in the industry -- and this allows us to create exceptional value for patients, for customers and for our shareholders."

"This was an especially good quarter for Copaxone, which continues to break sales records and to outpace the growth of the global MS market. We are very excited about 2006, which we believe will be a great year for Teva."

The stock closed at $42.91 Tuesday.