Thursday morning, pharmaceutical company Wyeth
For the quarter, revenues came in at $5.1 billion, a 9% increase over last year and comparable to the 8% in revenue growth that Wyeth experienced in the first nine months of the year. Excluding various restructuring charges and stock options expense, earnings came in at $1.1 billion for the quarter and $0.84 per share, compared with the $0.77 a share Wyeth earned in the year-ago quarter.
Wyeth's prescription drugs segment is on a roll, with sales growing 10% to $4.3 billion for the quarter and four applications being filed for drug approvals in this month alone. Two are for potential billion-dollar drugs -- Torisel to treat renal cell carcinoma and bifeprunox for schizophrenia -- so by this time next year, Wyeth might be marketing another blockbuster.
When I wrote about Wyeth two weeks ago, the company was awaiting word on the extent of punitive damages from the second trial involving its hormone therapy, Prempro. Wyeth had lost the trial and was ordered to pay $1.5 million in compensatory damages, but in a sudden reversal, a mistrial was declared for unknown reasons, and now Wyeth's record is 2-0 for these Prempro cases. With multiple trials pending, it's hoped Wyeth can keep a clean record.
Buried near the bottom of its earnings press release, Wyeth said it received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration about manufacturing concerns at its Puerto Rico facility. Wyeth said it has "submitted a timely response to the FDA," but these issues can sometimes get messy, so this should be monitored closely.
With its guidance of $3.12 to $3.18 in EPS for the year and a steadily increasing dividend, Wyeth is a good candidate for investors who want to get a start in this sector, yet are wary of the extreme volatility in shares of its smaller pharmaceutical or biotech brethren.
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