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Actavis share price down, sees higher earnings in 2015

Actavis Plc announced a wider loss on Wednesday but projected higher earnings in the year ahead on estimations of robust demand for its new products.

The company reported a net loss of $732.9 million, or $2.76 a share, for the three months ended December 31 compared with $148.4 million below the zero mark in the same period of 2013. Adjusted per-share earnings, or excluding certain items, stood at $3.91.

Actavis said earnings were hurt by amortization and acquisition-related expenses. However, revenue got a boost from Actavis purchases and increased 46% to $4.06 billion in the fourth quarter. In comparison, analysts were expecting a revenue of $3.84 billion and adjusted earnings of $3.67 a share.

Revenue from its North American brands almost tripled to $1.83 billion, boosted by the acquisition of Forrest and robust sales of legacy products.

North America generics and international division stated a 1.2% increase in revenue to $1.78 billion, driven by strong sales of key generic drugs and the introduction of several new ones. Division results were dented by $80 million loss of revenue related to Actavis divestiture of Western European assets.

Sales at its Anda business, which distributes products from over 200 suppliers to more than 60 000 locations, rose 16% to $443.3 million, marking the most successful year of the division in its history.

For 2015 Actavis projected to reach revenue of $15 billion accompanied with per-share earnings of between $16.30 and $17.30. The company is betting on its freshly approved branded products to boost revenue in the year ahead.

The upbeat outlook comes as the purchase of Botox maker Allergan is nearing its completion.

In November Actavis outbid Valeant Pharmaceuticals and a hostile approach from activist investor William Ackman with a $66-billion offer for Allergan and its highly demanded portfolio of products.

The company also announced it will adopt the name Allergan once the deal closes at the end of first quarter. However, the company will keep its current name for some geographic regions and product portfolios.

“Actavis continues to deliver on our performance commitments, while taking bold and decisive steps that will redefine the pharmaceutical landscape for the future,” said Chief Executive Brent Saunders.

Actavis gained 0.54% on Tuesday and closed at $286.90 in New York. On Wednesday the stock fell 1.02% to $283.98 at 15:38 GMT, marking a one-year increase of 40.95%. The company is valued at $76.36 billion.

According to the Financial Times, the 18 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Actavis have a median target of $315.00, with a high estimate of $350.00 and a low estimate of $268.00. The median estimate represents a 9.79% increase from the last closing price.

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