Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: WPI), an integrated global pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacturing, marketing, sale and distribution of generic and brand pharmaceutical products, today, released its first-quarter financial results. WPI reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit, sending shares sharply higher in pre-market trading.
For the fist quarter of 2012, the Parsippany, New Jersey-based company reported net income of $54.8 million, or $0.43 per share, compared with a profit of $45.3 million, or $0.36 per share reported for the same period in the previous year.
Excluding one-time items, WPI reported earnings of $1.64 per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, were expecting WPI to report earnings of $1.60 per share.
Revenue for the first quarter was $1.52 billion, compared with $876.5 million reported for the same period in the previous year. The impressive year-over-year growth in revenue was driven by generic versions of the Lipitor cholesterol fighter and Lovenox blood thinner.
Revenue at Watson Pharmaceuticals’ generic division was $1.12 billion, compared with $600.1 million reported for the same period in the previous year. The increase was driven by new product launches and a rise in international sales.
Michael Tong, analyst at Wells Fargo, said in a research note that overall, a good quarter, in his view, though the revenue mix was somewhat unfavorable given strength of lower margin distribution sales and softer-than-expected brand sales.
Meanwhile, Paul Bisaro, President and CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals, said that substantial double-digit growth across WPI’s three businesses-Global Generics, Global Brands and Anda Distribution- drove an 84% increase in non-GAAP earnings per share and a $151 million increase in adjusted EBITDA. Bisaro said that in the Global Generics business, the company launched more than 60 new products and filed 28 applications globally and also expanded presence in Australia and Southeast Asia with the acquisition of Ascent Pharmahealth Limited.
Looking ahead, WPI expects 2012 earnings per share to come in between $5.55 and $5.80 and revenue of $5.5 billion. WPI’s full-year forecast is in-line with Street estimates.
Watson Pharmaceuticals shares rose sharply in pre-market trading today. At last check, the stock was trading 1.76% higher at $77.50.