Almost at Par

It was a two-for-one sale at Par Pharmaceutical (NYSE: PRX  ) on Wednesday as the generic-drug maker released earnings for its first and second quarters. The release of earnings for the first half of the year was delayed due to restating earnings from 2006. Better late than never, I guess.

For the first six months of the year, revenues were up 9.2% over the same period last year, although like many generic-drug makers, including Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE: RDY  ) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA  ) , roller-coaster earnings resulted in different results for the two quarters.

First quarter revenues were up 36% year over year due to launches of new products such as generic versions of Wyeth's (NYSE: WYE  ) Inderal, AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN  ) Toprol-XL, and GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE: GSK  ) ZANTAC. Also contributing to the nice year-over-year pump in sales was a 137% increase in branded drug sales, but unfortunately, at 8%, they're a minor contributor to total revenues.

Second-quarter revenues were down 14% year over year because of strong competition, mostly against the generic version of Glaxo's Flonase, which saw sales cut by 35% as more generic-drug makers launched versions of the product.

Par is expecting even more generic competition in the fourth quarter of 2007, but fortunately it's filed 10 Abbreviated New Drug Applications this year, so there are new product launches in Par's future.

Given the solid first half, management bumped up its expected earnings for the year by $0.40 to $1.35 to $1.50 per share. With one month left in the year, we hope that estimate is accurate.

We should know fairly soon since Par expects to have Q3 results announced "at the earliest practical date" and to be current by the end of the year.

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PRX.DL2 $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
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