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Watson Pharmaceuticals Warns of Lower Earnings, Revenue

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Watson Pharmaceuticals


, maker of generic drugs, said Wednesday it had drastically lowered its earnings and revenue outlook. The company says it expects to lose between $18 million and $20 million in the fourth quarter, and between $38 million and $40 million in fiscal 2001. By comparison, the company announced $183.4 million in revenues for its third quarter.

So how do these lower revenue figures impact the fourth quarter and fiscal 2001 earnings picture? Pretty deeply. The company will come in 10 cents to 12 cents per share lower than previously expected in the fourth quarter, and 15 cents to 17 cents a share lower for full-year 2001.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb

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is at the heart of the matter. The pharmaceutical giant crushed Watson's attempt to make a generic version of its anti-anxiety drug


by getting a patent on a byproduct of the drug just before the original patent on BuSpar was set to expire. The

Food and Drug Administration

was expected to allow generic versions of BuSpar to enter the market when BuSpar's market exclusivity was set to expire. But now, since Bristol-Meyers has received a new patent, it could be up to 30 months before a generic version of BuSpar could hit the market.