NEW YORK (AP) — Forest Laboratories Inc. said Tuesday that its net income fell 58 percent in the fiscal first quarter after it wrote off a loan to another drug company. Its earnings excluding the write-off beat Wall Street estimates.
The company said its revenue edged up 1 percent as sales of its Alzheimer's disease treatment Namenda improved, partly because it started selling a longer-lasting version of the drug. Forest also reported greater sales of its high blood pressure treatment Bystolic and newer products like its depression drug Viibryd.
The company said its net income dropped to $23.3 million, or 9 cents per share, from $55.3 million, or 21 cents per share.
Forest took a one-time charge of $26.2 million after writing off a loan to Nabriva Therapeutics. If one-time items like the loan write-off are excluded, Forest said it earned 28 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 8 cents per share.
Revenue increased to $832.9 million from $821.1 million. Analysts expected revenue of $796.4 million.
Forest said Namenda sales rose 8 percent to $397.5 million. That included $14 million in revenue from Namenda XR, a once-per-day version Forest started selling during the quarter. Bystolic revenue rose 17 percent to $126 million and sales of Viibryd grew 23 percent to $46.1 million. The company said sales of its lung disease drug Daliresp climbed 35 percent to $24 million, and sales of another lung disease treatment, Tudorza, totaled $15.9 million.
Sales of Forest's depression and anxiety drug Lexapro, which lost patent protection in early 2012, tumbled to $28.2 million from $110 million.
Forest Labs shares slipped 5 cents to $43.70 in morning trading Tuesday. On July 16 the stock rose to $44.04, its highest price in almost six years.
In June, Forest seated a new board member selected by activist investor Carl Icahn, averting a fight over control of the pharmaceutical company. Over the last few years Icahn tried to get more control of Forest, criticizing the company's management and asking about its plans to replace longtime Chairman and CEO Howard Solomon, 85. Forest said in May that Solomon will step down as president and CEO at the end of 2013 and will leave the board of directors in 2014, although it has not named a replacement.
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