Allergan plc (AGN) plans to keep its headquarters in Ireland, its top executive said on an earnings call Tuesday, Feb. 6.

In light of the recent passage of the tax reform law in the U.S., an analyst asked whether the drugmaker has looked at the possibility of moving back to the U.S.

"No," Allergan chairman, president and CEO Brent Saunders replied. "We're an Irish company. We're gonna stay in Ireland."

Allergan gained a Dublin address when Actavis plc in 2015 completed its acquisition of Allergan Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $70.5 billion; it later adopted the Allergan name. Parsippany, N.J.-based Actavis Inc. acquired Warner Chilcott plc for $8.5 billion in stock and assumed debt in 2013, taking its Dublin base and becoming a public limited company.

Allergan on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter results that exceeded analysts' estimates and unveiled positive results from a clinical trial of ubrogepant for migraine treatment, sending shares up more than 7% in early trading; they closed Tuesday up 1.8% at $168.33 after turning negative during the day amid volatile trading in the broader market.

The company also said it has signed a deal to buy Australia-based Elastagen Pty. Ltd. for about $95 million upfront plus potential contingent payments of up to $165 million. Elastagen's technology has potential applications in areas including skin rejuvenation, scar remodeling and tissue repair, according to the website of the clinical-stage company.

Despite the announcement, Saunders indicated the company would not be active in dealmaking in 2018.

In responding to an analyst's question about M&A, the CEO reiterated on the call that Allergan was going to take a break from its stepping-stone strategy of smaller acquisitions "with the exception of things that are important to our long-term strategic growth."

He added: "We'll reevaluate our position in the second half of the year once we get through the LOEs," referring to the loss of patent exclusivity for some of Allergan's products. "But I have to say it's most likely that 2018 will be a relatively boring year for Allergan on the M&A front."

Allergan's deals in 2017 included its acquisition of Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., the medical technology company behind the body-contouring CoolSculpting System, in a $2.5 billion deal completed in April. It acquired Keller Medical Inc. in June and signed a deal to buy biopharmaceutical company Repros Therapeutics Inc. for 67 cents per share or $26.5 million in December.

The company in January announced plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs as it faces competition from generic drugmakers stemming from the loss of patent exclusivity for several of its products.

"As a result of the LOEs we face this year, we have taken the necessary but difficult actions to resize our company, and we entered 2018 from a stronger position to move past them," Saunders said on the earnings call.

In October, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a ruling invalidating four patents covering Allergan's Restasis dry eye medication. The company has appealed the decision.

Restasis had net revenue of $400.3 million in the fourth quarter, up 1.8% compared with the year-ago period.

In addition, Allergan faces loss of patent exclusivity in 2018 for products including Alzheimer's drug Namenda XR and ulcerative colitis drug Delzicol.

Allergan reported fourth-quarter net income per share of $4.86 on a non-GAAP basis, up 24.6% from the same period in 2016. Net revenue rose 12% to $4.33 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, adjusted EPS of $4.74 on revenue of $4.28 billion, according to FactSet Research Systems Inc.

For full-year 2018, the company continues to expect between $15 billion and $15.3 billion of net revenue. It projects non-GAAP adjusted net income per share of $15.25 to $16. It previously said it expected at least $15.25 a share.

Also on Tuesday, Allergan said its Achieve I study, the first of two Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating ubrogepant for the treatment of migraines, met its goals. The results of the other study, Achieve II, are expected within the first half of the year.

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