* First-quarter adj EPS $0.36 vs est $0.33
* First-quarter revenue $1.09 bln vs est $1.08 bln
* Forecasts 2013 adj EPS of $1.36-$1.42 vs est $1.38
* Shares rise as much as 6 pct
April 30 Zoetis Inc, formerly the animal
health subsidiary of U.S. pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer Inc
, posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit,
driven by growth in sales of pet products in the United States.
Animal health is considered an attractive business for
drugmakers as there are fewer worries about patent expiries and
regulatory interventions, and a growing middle-class population
in emerging markets means more people can afford pets.
However, the worst drought in the United States in more than
half a century has hit sales across the industry.
Zoetis said sales of livestock products rose just 2 percent,
compared with a 13 percent rise in pet products sales.
"Coming on the heels of weak/mixed results from other animal
health businesses, we view today's update as a positive," J.P.
Morgan analyst Chris Schott said in a note.
Eli Lilly and Co's animal health division posted
weak first-quarter results and the company said livestock
products had run into a cyclical slump globally.
The company, which sells drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for
livestock and pets, forecast 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.36 to
$1.42 per share, largely in line with the average analyst
estimate of $1.38.
Zoetis's net income for the first quarter rose 26 percent to
$140 million, or 28 cents per share, from $111 million, or 22
cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, earnings were 36 cents per share. Analysts
expected 33 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The results were the first for Zoetis since it went public
in February. The company raised $2.2 billion in the largest IPO
by a U.S. company since Facebook Inc.
Revenue for the quarter rose 4 percent to $1.09 billion,
compared with analysts' average estimate of $1.08 billion.
Zoetis expects 2013 revenue of $4.43 billion to $4.53
billion, while analysts expect $4.53 billion on average.
The company's shares rose as much as 6 percent to $34.72 in
morning trade, before easing back to $33.16. The stock gained 4
percent since the IPO up to Monday's close of $32.66.
Zoetis's pet products include Revolution, a heartworm and
flea-control medicine for cats and dogs, and Palladia, the first
drug to be approved by the FDA for treating cancer in dogs.
The company, which is the largest player in the $22 billion
animal health industry, has also developed the first vaccine for
the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in the United States.
Zoetis, which has a market capitalization of $16.33 billion,
competes with the animal health businesses of Merck & Co
, Eli Lilly, Sanofi SA, and Novartis AG
Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, divested Zoetis as
part of its plan to focus on its core prescription drugs
business. Pfizer also sold its infant nutrition business to
Nestle SA for $11.9 billion last year.
The Zoetis business began in 1952 as the agriculture
division of Pfizer and has steadily grown through in-house
research and almost a dozen acquisitions, including the animal
health units of rival drugmakers.