A combination of acquisitions and strong organic and overseas growth helped fuel global pharmaceutical giant Actavis (NYSE:AGN) to an impressive first quarter of growth.

For the quarter, Actavis delivered revenue of $2.66 billion, up 40% from the previous year, aided most by its acquisition of Warner Chilcott, which caused a 358% surge in its North American branded drug revenue. Women's health revenue saw closer to a tenfold increase in sales to $212.6 million while urology/gastroenterology sales quadrupled to $225.2 million.

Sticking within North America, generic drug growth was impressive as well, with Actavis netting $1.02 billion during the quarter, a 7% increase from the prior-year period. At the heart of these gains was the generic drug launch of depression blockbuster Cymbalta as well as Lidoderm. Its revenue improvement was also partially offset by increasing competition for generic Concerta.

International revenue and Anda Distribution, which accounts for sales of third-party products, were additional bright spots with revenue rising 12% to $647 million and 69% to $390 million, respectively.

Adjusted EPS for the quarter jumped a whopping 75% to $3.49 from $1.99 in the prior-year period as the introduction of Warner Chilcott's branded portfolio helped boost gross margin 1,260 basis points to 65.3%. Partially offsetting this improvement was a 35% increase in consolidated selling, general, and administrative expenses tied to its acquisition of Warner Chilcott.

Looking ahead, Actavis would only comment that it anticipates adjusted EPS to dip in the second quarter from the first due to increasing generic competition, including for recently launched Lidoderm. In accordance with its purchase of Forest Laboratories, it's withdrawing its previous guidance and hopes to give a full revenue and EPS forecast once the deal closes by mid-year.

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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