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Zoetis' Q4 Profit More Than Triples but Forecasts Tepid Growth in 2014

By Sean Williams – Feb 11, 2014 at 1:23PM

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Zoetis' delivers steady growth across all four of its geographic regions, but leaves a lot to be desired with a weaker-than-expected full-year outlook.

Animal health giant Zoetis (ZTS 0.50%), which was spun off from Pfizer last year, reported steady growth in the fourth quarter before the opening bell this morning, but left a lot to be desired with its projected 2014 outlook.

For the quarter, Zoetis saw revenue rise 9% on an operational basis (7% when adjusted for negative currency translation) to $1.254 billion as adjusted net income, which excludes one-time gains and expenses, more than tripled to $0.36 per share from $0.11 in the year-ago period.

Zoetis' top-line results were strong across all four of its geographic regions.

U.S. revenue rose 7% to $516 million thanks to an 8% increase in livestock sales during the quarter and a 5% boost in companion health revenue. Cattle products were cited as the primary catalyst here with new product growth in swine and poultry also adding to growth.

Its Europe/Africa/Middle East segment delivered $330 million in sales, up 9% on an operational basis, as swine and poultry product sales in Germany and Russia boosted livestock sales by 9%. Its Eu/Af/ME segment also saw more robust companion sales growth of 9% relative to the United States.

Canada and Latin American revenue improved 8% on an operational basis to $223 million driven primarily by cattle product sales in Brazil. Keeping with the theme of robust companion product sales growth, its CLAR segment produced 14% operational growth thanks largely to Brazil and Canada.

Finally, Asia/Pacific revenue increased 14% on an operational basis to $185 million as livestock products jumped 16%. The primary catalyst was swine, poultry and cattle products in China, India and Japan. Companion animal products grew by 8% on an operational basis in this region.

Looking ahead, though, Zoetis' full-year 2014 guidance pointed toward slowing growth. Full-year revenue projections in 2014 of $4.65 billion-$4.75 billion represents just 3% EPS growth at the midpoint from today's full-year results, while its adjusted EPS forecast of $1.48-$1.54 is well below the $1.61 projected by S&P Capital IQ.

Shares of Zoetis were down in midday trading by nearly 6%.

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.

The Motley Fool has no position in any companies mentioned in this article. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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