Mylan Laboratories' (NYSE:MYL) bumpy results for both the fiscal fourth quarter and year (ended March) underscores the competitive nature of the acne market. Sales of the company's generic acne product fell $22.6 million in the fourth quarter as a result of stiff competition from generic competitors.

The company's earnings per share of $0.27 virtually matched last year's fourth-quarter results and were in line with analysts' estimates. Mylan's revenues in its branded segment deflated over 50%, but the firm's generic revenues rose 6%.

Mylan's full-year earnings of $1.21 per share topped the analysts' estimate by $0.08 and last year's $0.96 figure. Mylan expects to earn between $1.30 and $1.40 per share in the current fiscal year, and is aggressively trying to grow earnings at a 15% long-term rate. These numbers are anticipating the company's July launch of its transdermal fentanyl product, which is the generic pain patch for Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) popular Duragesic product.

Competition in the acne and other markets are threatening to burst Mylan's earnings bubble. The company has been involved in many patent suits, including recent battles with industry giant Johnson & Johnson and Alza Corporation. These court tussles have clouded launch dates for various Mylan products but will probably not deter the long-term viability of the merchandise.

Mylan and it rivals, such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ:TEVA), Barr Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:BRL), and Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WPI), are trying to build up their sagging branded businesses. With companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Genentech (NYSE:DNA) controlling the lion's share of the branded market, it becomes important for Mylan and other smaller companies to succeed in their generic copycat niche. Mylan's generic products make up almost 80% of its total sales.

In the "anything you can do, I can do better" world of drug manufacturing, only one thing is for sure: Teenagers will always have acne that needs to disappear as quickly as it shows up. Mylan must stay close to its generic roots, despite difficult patent fights, if it hopes to reach future earnings goals.

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Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.