Generic Pharma Giant TEVA Reels

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In its quarterly earnings call Thursday, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. dropped its projections of annual profit for the second time this year. Earnings per share is expected to range from $4.30 to $4.50, and dividends have fallen 75%, Bloomberg reports via Fortune.

For quarter two, Teva reported a 2% drop in profit despite a 12.86% year over year increase in revenue, as costs of sales rose 32.6%. The greater concern, though, is the $6.1 billion dollars worth of “loss contingencies” the company disclosed, which led to a net loss of almost $6 billion for the quarter.

The company’s stock has fallen 32.7% on the earnings report since the market closed Wednesday, bringing the total drop over the past 12 months to over 60%. According to Fortune, Teva’s debt ($35.1 billion) now exceeds the firm’s market value of $33.6 billion.

Much of the debt is the result of costs associated with Teva’s $40.5 billion acquisition of the generic division of U.S. drugmaker Allergan. The high-risk, high-reward deal, finalized in July 2015, made Teva the biggest generic drugmaker in the world (per Fortune), but came at a time when competition was driving down prices across the industry, cutting into bottom lines.

As part of the takeover agreement, Allergan received a 10% stake in Teva, which it was required to hold for a year. Today, Allergan is Teva’s largest shareholder. In its first-quarter earnings reports, Allergan estimated that its stake had depreciated by $1.98 billion. The holding period expired this week, and Allergan has said that it plans to sell off its shares within the next couple of months.

“All of us at Teva understand the frustration and disappointment of our shareholders in light of these results,” interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg said on Thursday. “We will continue to take action to aggressively confront our challenges.”

Teva intends to offload a number of assets, including its global women’s health division and its European cancer and pain-treatment operations, by the end of the year. Peterburg said the company is also reviewing other “non-core” arms of its business, looking for ways to trim the fat.

“This review will ensure business is much more focused and efficient in the rapidly changing competitive environment,” he said.

Peterberg expects the asset sales to generate $2 billion, almost double the initial target for divestment-related proceeds.

Teva increased its cost reduction targets to $1.6 billion, from $1.5 billion in May. It plans to cut 7000 jobs; that figure is up 40% since the company announced 5000 job cuts following the Allergan deal.

While Teva is “on track” to fulfill its debt covenants, the company warned that it could fail to do so if the US dollar continues to weaken in the international currency market, or if asset sales do not generate enough revenue.

Teva has not had a permanent CEO since February, when Erez Vigodman, who had held the job for there years, stepped down. At that time, the company appointed Peterburg, then head of Teva’s board of directors, to fill the position on an interim basis.

Installing a permanent, long-term chief could go a long way toward righting Teva’s ship. The pharma giant has gone through 3 CEOs in 5 years.

“This [i.e. the search for a CEO] is a process we are not going to rush and we will not compromise on quality and on finding the best individual possible to lead Teva,” said chairman Sol Barer.

Given the current situation, the job is a hard one to sell. It is equally hard to sell Teva stock, which is now at a 5-year low. Still, the low prices may attract certain investors working under a mean reversion strategy.

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