Teva Pharmaceutical's Profit Jumps 8% on Strong Copaxone Sales

Branded and generic pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE: TEVA  ) reported slow but steady growth this morning with its fourth-quarter earnings release, led once again by strength from its lead drug, Copaxone.

For the quarter, Teva reported revenue of $5.43 billion, up 3.4% from the year-ago period, as adjusted EPS expanded nearly 8% to $1.42.

The primary growth driver, as is the case nearly every quarter with Teva, was multiple sclerosis therapy Copaxone, which registered $1.14 billion in sales, up 8% from the $1.06 billion reported in Q4 2012. Sales of the drug actually decreased 2% in the U.S. to $805 million as oral MS competition picked up, while higher sales in Russia and Germany more than offset U.S.-based declines. As a reminder to investors, Copaxone will begin to see its first patents expire in the U.S. later this year, potentially opening the drug up to generic competition.

Parkinson's disease drug Azilect and chronic lymphocytic leukemia therapy Treanda were two other highlights, with revenue up 12% and 10%, respectively.

Teva's generics business produced a rather ho-hum quarter, with total sales growth of just 1%, aided by a 14% increase in generics revenue in the U.S. as key branded drugs such as Niaspan, Temodar, and Cymbalta came off patent, and hampered by a 14% decrease in rest of world sales which was due to lower sales in Russia and a nasty 12% negative effect from currency translation. Total revenue from generics comprised 50% of Teva's fourth-quarter revenue, down marginally from the 51% in the year-ago period.

Teva also reaffirmed its prior fiscal outlook for 2014 and declared a Q4 dividend of approximately $0.34 based on today's exchange rate, a 5% increase from its previous quarterly payout.

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