November 8, 2017 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

Shares in Denmark's Lundbeck drop as sales of key drugs disappoint

* Shares down as much as 6.8 pct

* Q3 revenue driven by lower costs, late generics

* Full-year EBIT guidance narrowed in upper end of range

By Julie Astrid Thomsen

COPENHAGEN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Shares in Danish pharmaceutical firm Lundbeck fell as much as 6.8 percent on Tuesday as third-quarter sales of its newer drugs, such as those to treat bipolar disorder and depression, undershot market expectations.

Operating profit (EBIT) of 1.42 billion Danish crowns ($221.22 million) beat market forecasts with cost controls and better-than-expected sales of drugs no longer under patent, such as Sabril to treat epilepsy, said Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft with a “hold” rating on the stock.

But long-term revenues from those are expected to slip and sales disappointed for newer drugs, such as Abilify Maintena for treating bipolar disorder and Brintellix for depression and anxiety.

“We’ve already seen the first generic drugs for Sabril and Xenazine (used for Huntington’s disease) and that will drag down future growth,” said interim Chief Executive Anders Gotzsche, who is also chief financial officer.

Some drugmakers have seen a price pressure in the U.S. market, but Gotzsche said he expected Lundbeck to steadily increase prices going forward.

Lundbeck revised up 2017 earnings guidance to 4.3 billion to 4.6 billion Danish crowns ($670.49 million-$717.27 million) compared to previous guidance of 4.1-4.5 billion crowns.

The new guidance was in line with market expectations and not driven by stronger product sales as some investors and analysts had hoped for, Jyske Bank trader Martin Munk said.

Lundbeck is looking for a new chief executive after generic drugmaker Teva poached industry veteran Kare Schultz, under whom the share price more than tripled.

Shares traded 6.1 percent lower at 1039 GMT and are down by about 14 percent since Schultz left to take charge of Teva.

Lundbeck develops and distributes drugs to treat various neurological and psychological diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.

$1 = 6.4132 Danish crowns Reporting by Julie Astrid Thomsen; Editing by Simon Johnson and Edmund Blair

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