Teva Pharmaceutical posts 75% leap in Q3 profits to $79.4 million

Beat analyst consensus for the third quarter with EPS of 58 cents
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Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Nasdaq:TEVA) said on Wednesday its third quarter profits rose 75%, lifted by sales of its multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.

The company, one of the world's largest makers of generic drugs, posted earnings of $79.4 million, or 58 cents per share, compared with $45.3 million, or 34 cents per share a year ago.

The consensus analyst forecast was 53 cents per share, with estimates ranging from 47 cents to 57 cents per share, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call.

Sales rose to $505.7 million from $450.1 million, with global sales of its branded Copaxone drug up 44 percent to $95 million.

On August 15, Teva raised its outlook for the second half of the year to $1.15 per share from 99 cents per share, primarily because it won a court case permitting it to sell a copycat version of arthritis drug Relafin, made by GlaxoSmithKline.

Quarterly revenues grew 12% against the parallel to $505.7 million. Operating profit was $205.7 million, up 14% from the third quarter of 2000.

Copaxone sales worldwide continued to grow during the third quarter, rising 44% from the comparable quarter of 2000 to $95 million.

For the first nine months of 2001, Teva posted revenues of $1.51 billion, 23% more than the $1.23 billion recorded for the comparable three quarters of 2000. It netted $198.6 million for the first three quarters, up 119% from the parallel period of last year.

Earnings per share for the nine months was $1.45, more than double its 70-cent EPS for the parallel.

Teva chief executive Eli Hurvitz said the company was pleased with its quarterly results.

The company also announced it will be handing out dividends to shareholders for the third quarter or 27 agorot per share (NIS 0.27), just as it did in the two previous quarters.