Forest posts 3rd-qtr loss as antidepressant sales plummet

Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:22am EST

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Forest Laboratories Inc on Tuesday posted a fiscal third-quarter loss as sales of its antidepressant Lexapro continued to be buffeted by generic competition.

The company posted a net loss in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, of $153.6 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with a profit of $278.4 million, or $1.04 a year ago. Sales fell 41.6 percent to $678 million from $1.2 billion a year ago.

Analysts had on average expected a loss of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it expects its adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal year ending March 31 to be at the lower end of its previously forecast range of 45 cents to 60 cents a share. It expects revenue to be between $3.1 billion and $3.2 billion.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted a loss of 21 cents per share in the fiscal third-quarter.

Forest, which fought a bruising battle last year with activist Carl Icahn, is placing its hopes on a series of new products it hopes will offset losses from Lexapro and drive future growth.

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