Generics Fuel Solid 3Q for Taro Pharmaceutical

Still subject to speculation the company is a target in a domestic criminal investigation over the pricing of generic drugs, Taro Pharmaceutical (TARO) reported an increase of $16.7 million in net sales fueled, ironically, on its U.S. generic business.

In a statement Nov. 8, the company said its gross profit was up 5.1% to $177.3 million in the third quarter, while its R&D expenses dropped $3.9 million and expenses tied to sales, marketing and administration fell $3.2 million.

The company also noted that its stash of cash was down $319.2 million to $909.5 million mainly due to the company's stock repurchase program with a $240.6 million impact and $251.3 million going into long-term bank deposits.

The share repurchase program included 1.8 million shares purchased from March 17 to August 18 with an average price of $138.80.

CEO Kal Sundaram said in a statement, "We are pleased with our sales and operating performance in the face of increasing competitive intensity and pricing pressure. Our new product sales have met, and in some cases exceeded our expectations, helping to off-set the decline in sales arising from the price erosion of existing products."

While the company maintains a research and development program, it also had a robust off-patent and generic drug business along with drug distribution in the U.S., Israel, Canada as well as other international markets. It is also manufacturers its own products.

The company currently has 36 Abbreviated New Drug Applications before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recently received an ANDA for Nafitfine Hydrochloride Cream USP 1% recently.

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