June 30 was the end of Forest's first quarter, and the Wall Street consensus calls for a profit of 51 cents a share on revenue of $785.9 million, according to Thomson First Call. The estimate excludes items. For the same period last year, Forest earned 52 cents a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $711.8 million. Forest's revenue and profit for the 2006 fiscal year declined from the previous year. One major reason was the dramatic erosion in sales of the antidepressant Celexa, a Lexapro predecessor. Forest knew Celexa would lose its patent, whereas the company is fighting Teva to keep Lexapro's U.S. patent for at least another four years. Forest licenses Lexapro from the Danish company H. Lundbeck, which has joined Forest in suing Teva. Several brand-name drug companies have decided to settle with generic challengers, thus preventing an all-or-nothing outcome, but in this case, Forest is following the Pfizer and Lilly strategy of fighting in court. Forest
did settle a Lexapro patent challenge in October with the Australian generic-drug company Alphapharm. Analysts say the Teva litigation presents a greater problem than the Alphapharm dispute.