A shot of decent news from Teva at long last.
Teva said earnings for the three months ending in March came in at $1.03 per share on a GAAP basis and 94 cents per share on a non-GAAP basis, the latter topping the consensus forecast of 67 cents a share. Group revenues, which fell 10% from the same period last year to $5.1 billion, also beat Street forecasts of $4.8 billion. Teva said it now expects full-year earnings of between $$2.40 and 2.65 per share, well ahead of prior forecasts, and raised its free cash-flow guidance range to between $3 billion and $3.2 billion.
"Our restructuring program is proceeding well, and we are on track to meet our cost reduction targets of $1.5 billion in 2018 and $3.0 billion by the end of 2019," said CEO Kåre Schultz. "During this quarter, our strong cash flow allowed us to continue to reduce our outstanding debt, and together with our recent debt issuance and covenant amendment, has placed Teva on a more stable financial footing.
"Our strong first quarter performance, along with our confidence in executing the restructuring program, gives us a solid foundation to raise our guidance for the year," he added.
Teva's U.S.-listed shares were marked 7.8% higher in pre-market trading in New York, indicating an opening bell price of $20.05 each, a move that would take the stock into positive territory for the year.
Teva has suffered from stiffer global competition for its generic brands, including the multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, blood cancer drug Bendeka and respiratory medicine ProAir, which provide an estimated collective 11% of the group's near-term gross profits.
Petah Tikva, Israel-based Teva in December said it planned to cut 14,000 jobs globally -- or more than a quarter of its staff -- over the next two years as part of restructuring efforts aimed at lowering its total cost base by $3 billion by the end of 2019 from the estimated base of $16.1 billion for 2017.