A couple of quarters after it swallowed a giant competitor, Barr Pharmaceuticals
Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Barr saw revenues increase to $637 million in the second quarter, from $352 million a year ago. The huge jump in sales was due to the October addition of products from the acquisition of Croatian drugmaker Pliva. The addition of Pliva opened up 30 markets for Barr and provided it with 550 products.
The acquisition should help Barr compete in the bigger-is-better world of generic drugs. Since Mylan Labs
However, Barr wasn't able to translate the increase in revenues into an increase in the bottom line. Barr reported earnings from continuing operations of $45.9 million, down from $82.3 million in the same quarter last year. The earnings were dragged down by interest expenses of $42 million, almost all of which is from the $2.6 billion debt it took on to finance the Pliva buyout. Barr is hoping to refinance some of that dept into longer-term bonds, but is waiting until the debt markets settle down a bit. I hope Barr doesn't wait too long; it would be nice to free up some of its cash flow to grow the business instead of paying interest charges.
Sales of Barr's branded drugs were up a paltry 5% year over year for the quarter, but its SEASONALE contraceptive began facing generic competition last fall, so any increase is a welcome one. Most of the increase was due to the launch of its over-the-counter "Plan B" emergency contraceptive, which appears to be going smoothly. Barr earns much higher gross margins on its branded drugs, so it would be nice to see that segment grow.
Last week, Barr's chief operating officer, Paul Bisaro, announced that he was leaving to become CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals
It will be nice in a couple of quarters when investors can make meaningful year-over-year revenue comparisons. In the meantime, investors should look for increasing margins as the companies continue to merge. As long as Barr can leverage its new debt, its acquisition will pay off for investors in the years to come.