(Reuters) - Mylan Inc (MYL.O), one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers, posted higher quarterly profit and sales, helped by the introduction of its version of antidepressant Lexapro and other products.
Mylan also said on Thursday that it plans to launch its generic version of the big-selling cholesterol fighter Lipitor in the latter part of the current quarter.
Watson Pharmaceuticals WPI.N and India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories (RANB.NS) are already selling generic Lipitor and other competitors are likely to begin offering their versions in coming months.
Mylan maintained its 2012 forecast for earnings of $2.30 to $2.50 per share, but added that it continues to see opportunities for upside during the year and was confident in its 2013 earnings target of $2.75 per share.
Wall Street on average is estimating 2012 earnings of $2.42 per share and is looking for $2.67 in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mylan posted a first-quarter profit of $129.4 million, or 30 cents per share, up from $104.5 million, or 23 cents a share a year before. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share of 52 cents beat Wall Street forecasts by 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue for the quarter rose 9 percent to $1.59 billion.
The company also said patent litigation was resolved for its key EpiPen epinephrine product for allergic emergencies that would allow Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) to launch a generic competitor as early as June 2015. But Teva must first gain approval from U.S. health regulators for its version.
Mylan shares were down 23 cents, or 1 percent, at $21.97 in late morning trade on Nasdaq.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Shibani Malhotra said the decline was likely due to confusion over the EpiPen settlement.
“People assumed if Mylan had a strong case they wouldn’t settle for earlier than 2018 or so,” Malhotra said, but added that generic competition in 2015 was far from certain.
“We see a generic approval as difficult, so we are happy the overhang has been removed,” she said.
Mylan’s report comes a day after rival Watson agreed to buy Swiss-based Actavis for at least $5.6 billion, cementing its status as one of the world’s biggest generic drugmakers and expanding its business internationally.
Mylan said it expects consolidation in the industry to continue and that it was actively looking on all fronts, including at new products and therapeutic categories, as well as opportunities to expand geographically.
Reporting by Bill Berkrot and Michele Gershberg in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dale Hudson