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What: Shares of life sciences company Cambrex (NYSE:CBM) shot higher by as much as 16% following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results.
So what: For the quarter, Cambrex reported a 4.8% increase in revenue to $69.9 million, as gross margin expanded 60 basis points to 30% thanks to a better product mix and higher volumes of active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, being sold. Net income rose to $44.2 million from just $3 million in the year prior because of a huge one-time tax benefit. Adjusting for one-time costs, Cambrex earned $0.26, which is double what Wall Street had expected. Looking ahead, Cambrex anticipates sales growth of 8%-12% in 2013 and EBITDA growth of 8%-18% to a range of $62 million-$68 million. This would imply full-year revenue at a midpoint of $303 million, and EPS getting close to $1 -- perhaps $0.01 or $0.02 shy. The lone analyst estimate for 2013 is calling for only $298.1 million in sales and $0.95 in EPS.
Now what: This was another great quarter for Cambrex, even if you consider that foreign currency translations knocked 90 basis points off its top-line revenue results. Its APIs are important components for many generic pharmaceutical companies, and, with opinion growing for cheaper alternatives to branded drugs, there's no reason to believe Cambrex can't continue to grow. As with all generic drug makers, it'll contend with margin contraction as competition heats up, but at just 13 times this year's earnings, I feel it could march even higher.
Craving more input? Start by adding Cambrex to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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