Mylan's (NYSE: MYL ) revenue spiked 188% year over year last quarter, but I'm not impressed.
Foolish writers rarely get to say such things. Even for high-growth companies like Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) or Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX ) , almost tripling revenue is usually considered impressive.
But Mylan's growth was entirely extrinsic, stemming from its acquisition of Matrix in January of last year, and from the subsequent engulfing of Merck KGaA's generic-drug business in October. Those acquisitions -- especially the $6.7 billion all-cash deal for Merck's generics -- came at a cost. Adjusted diluted earnings per share slipped to just $0.11 (from $0.45 per share in the year-ago quarter) because interest expense jumped to $133 million (compared to just $10.5 million the year prior). In addition, the company now has more shares outstanding, since it made a public offering to pay for the acquisitions.
The good news is that Mylan has a plan to get its earnings headed back in the right direction. To save money -- that's what acquisitions are all about, right? -- it's shutting down multiple research and development and manufacturing sites.
More importantly, it's planning to sell off some of its assets to focus on its generic-drug business, and perhaps pay down some of that monster debt load. Yesterday, Mylan announced that it had sold its post-2010 royalties from recently approved Bystolic to partner Forest Labs (NYSE: FRX ) for $370 million. It's also considering the sale of both Dey, its branded pharmaceutical business, and Docpharma, its operation for Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg, which it acquired in the recent deals.
Mylan's new larger size should help it compete against the two big guns in generic drugs: Teva Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: TEVA ) and Novartis (NYSE: NVS ) . If it can trim the fat, Mylan should make for a good long-term investment.
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