The only thing worse for a pharmaceutical company than generic competition is generic competition that it didn't prepare for. Such was the case for Wyeth
Fortunately, Wyeth seems to be managing quite well. Sales of former blockbuster drug Protonix plummeted 66%, but Wyeth still managed to increase its revenue by 6% year over year. There's still potential for Wyeth to win in court, where it could not only gain the lost Protonix sales back, but also recover triple damages. The trial isn't expected to begin until the middle of next year.
The revenue growth was spurred on by antidepressant Effexor, which rose 15%, and rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, which jumped 36% to $606 million outside North America. Amgen
While Wyeth was able to keep the top line up, it failed to trickle through to the bottom line. Profits fell more than 4% as the company had higher expenses and a charge primarily for laying off all those workers from its cost-cutting program.
Looking forward, a couple of upcoming events could drive Wyeth's stock price. Next week the company should hear back from the FDA about its opioid-induced constipation (OIC) drug, which it will market with Progenics Pharmaceuticals'
Investors should also be on the lookout for phase 2 data for Alzheimer's treatment bapineuzumab in the middle of this year. Wyeth and its partner Elan
Wyeth is looking for adjusted EPS of $3.35 to $3.49 this year, which might fall just shy of last year's number. Given the loss of exclusivity for one of its main drugs, that sounds like a win in my book.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Johnson & Johnson is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter. The Fool has a disclosure policy.