Teva profit beats forecasts on U.S. drug sales

TEL AVIV Wed May 9, 2012 3:21am EDT

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant (OSD) is seen December 21, 2011. Israel-based Teva is the world's leading generic drugmaker. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant (OSD) is seen December 21, 2011. Israel-based Teva is the world's leading generic drugmaker.

Credit: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

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TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries posted a 40 percent jump in quarterly profit that beat estimates, boosted by robust sales of its own-branded products and generic medicines in the United States.

Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker, earned $1.47 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the first quarter, compared with $1.04 a year earlier, it said on Wednesday. Revenue jumped 25 percent to $5.1 billion.

Israel-based Teva was forecast to have made $1.44 a share on revenue of $5.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"We enjoyed a quarter of strong growth for our branded products, in our U.S. generics business, and in the developing markets Teva operates in," said outgoing President and Chief Executive Shlomo Yanai. "All of these served to offset weaker generics sales in Europe, which resulted primarily from the macro-economic conditions in that region."

U.S. sales, which comprise 54 percent of total sales, rose 46 percent in the quarter to $2.8 billion largely due to the launch of seven new products from its acquisition of Cephalon. European sales dipped 2 percent to $1.3 billion.

Its own multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone posted an 8 percent rise in sales to $909 million. The injected drug faces competition from a variety of oral treatments that are available or are expected to hit the market in coming years.

Overall, Teva's branded drug sales grew 12 percent to $2.6 billion.

Teva declared a quarterly cash dividend of 1 shekel (26.3 cents) a share, identical to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Yanai stepped down on Wednesday after five years in the job and is passing the reins to Jeremy Levin, a former senior executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Writing by Steven Scheer; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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