* Novo says to carry out a stock split in five-for-one ratio
* Sees high single-digit profit, sales growth next year
* Q3 EBIT rises to 7.99 bln DKK, missing forecasts
* Keeps full-year 2013 guidance unchanged
* Shares close down 7.4 pct
(Adds details, analyst comment, closing price)
By Mette Fraende and Shida Chayesteh
COPENHAGEN, Oct 31 Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk
missed forecasts for third-quarter profit and sales
and gave a smaller than hoped growth outlook for next year,
capped by a weakening dollar and slower growth of some of its
The world's biggest insulin producer, which faces
intensified competition in the fast-growing diabetes market as
the world faces an epidemic of type 2 diabetes tied to
over-eating and lack of exercise, said it expects high
single-digit percentage operating profit and sales growth next
Novo, up against rivals such as Sanofi SA and Eli
Lilly & Co, in addition to much smaller generic
producers, kept its outlook for 2013 unchanged.
"Some had expected more, and were waiting for two digit
growth rates in both profit and sales for next year," Jyske Bank
analyst Frank Andersen.
In a Reuters poll of analysts, the average forecast for
operating profit growth in 2014 was for 9.7 percent while sales
on average were seen rising 8.2 percent. A number of analysts in
the poll had however forecast higher growth rates.
"The company expects sales and EBIT to grow by high single
digits. This is shy of Novo's usual ambition to drive
double-digit sales growth and margin expansion," Berenberg said
in a note to clients.
Berenberg pointed to two significant difficulties facing
Novo next year, the first being the loss of a large contract in
the United States. The second was intensified
competition for its diabetes Prandin drug after a U.S. appeals
court in June found the patent on Prandin in combination with
metformin to be invalid.
"In summary, this was a marginally disappointing set of
results, with cautious guidance for 2014," Berenberg said.
In addition to competition challenges, Novo was dealt a
major blow in February when the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) refused to approve the drug, called
Tresiba, and instead asked for extra tests to assess potential
Novo said third-quarter sales of modern insulins rose to
9.39 billion Danish crowns, missing the average 9.74 billion
forecast in a Reuters poll.
Sales of diabetes drug Victoza rose about 14 percent to 2.85
billion Danish crowns, also lagging forecasts, hurt by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency's
investigations into whether Victoza and similar rival drugs may
cause pancreatic cancer.
"At a first glance that looks critical because Victoza is
one of the primary growth drivers for Novo," Andersen said.
The group's operating profit for the third quarter rose to
7.99 billion Danish crowns ($1.48 billion), compared with an
average forecast for 8.19 billion crowns in the poll of
"It is particularly the diabetes sales which are weak in the
third quarter," said Sydbank analyst Soren Hansen.
The sale of NovoRapid, a modern insulin and another of
Novo's best selling drugs, rose 8 percent, less than expected
Andersen said. "The first disappointing element is the result
and the next is 2014 guidance."
Novo's shares closed down 7.4 percent to 914 Danish crowns,
against a 2.5 percent fall in the Copenhagen stock exchange's
The company said it would split its shares to improve
liquidity and bring price levels down, especially the American
Depositary Receipts. The price of Novo Nordisk's shares on the
New York stock exchange last traded at $181.1 per share.
The trading unit of Novo Nordisk B shares listed on the
Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen exchange will be changed from 1 Danish
crown to 0.20 crowns, it said.
Novo's shares have risen 3.5 percent since the start of the
year, outperforming a modest 0.2 percent increase in the
European Healthcare Index.
($1 = 5.4161 Danish crowns)
(Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)