LONDON Feb 6 AstraZeneca expects
earnings to continue to fall in 2014 as generic competition to
its popular heartburn and ulcer drug Nexium takes a big bite out
of U.S. profits from May.
The British drugmaker said on Thursday that group sales this
year were likely to decline by a low-to-mid single digit
percentage figure, with earnings per share falling "in the
teens", due to the loss of high-margin medicines.
Sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 fell 6 percent to $6.84
billion, generating "core" earnings, which exclude certain
items, down 28 percent at $1.23 a share.
Industry analysts, on average, had forecast sales in the
quarter of $6.88 billion and earnings of $1.16 a share,
according to Thomson Reuters.