Increased Generic Competition Pushes AbbVie's Q4 Profit Noticeably Lower

Global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV  ) reported its fourth-quarter earnings results before the opening bell this morning and pointed to an increasingly difficult environment due to generic competition.

For the quarter, AbbVie delivered worldwide revenue of $5.11 billion, representing a 1.8% decline that includes a negative 0.7% effect for currency translation. Profit for the quarter shrank to a diluted $0.70 per share from $0.98 in the year-ago period as operating profits were negatively affected in the U.S. by the introduction of generic drugs.

The most important pipeline product to AbbVie is Humira, which contributed 59.5% of AbbVie's $5.11 billion in sales this quarter, and finished the year as the best-selling drug in the world with $10.66 billion in revenue. International sales of Humira rose by 8.2% while revenue in the U.S. pushed higher by 18.1%. Total Humira sales increased 13.4% for the quarter.

Within the remainder of AbbVie's product line, Synagis, AndroGel, Kaletra, and Lupron -- which delivered between $209 million and $314 million in revenue for the quarter -- all saw reported sales decline, with AndroGel's 20.9% decline being the steepest.

Looking toward 2014, AbbVie forecasts revenue of approximately $19 billion, which doesn't include any positive impact from the potential approval and launch of its hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral combo drug, and projects earnings per share to range between $3 and $3.10 on an adjusted basis. 


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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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