After a rather stellar 2007, it seemed as though generic-drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals
Sales were up 24% year over year, thanks in part to the 35% increases in sales of its multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone. Elan's
The jump in sales also benefited from recent launches of generic versions of Novartis'
Not counting a charge associated with purchasing CoGenesys, adjusted earnings per share were $0.64, a 52% year-over-year increase. Even so, part of that bottom-line growth was helped by increased gross margins -- Copaxone, other branded drugs, and generics still in their exclusivity period generally fetch a higher gross margin.
This was certainly a good start to the year. Even better, Teva looks like it's just getting started. It'll be gaining a big presence in Spain when it acquires Bentley Pharmaceuticals later this quarter or early next quarter. Its pipeline is also strong, with 155 marketing applications waiting for FDA approval. This includes 49 that could come with the coveted first-to-file 180 days of exclusivity. It even has some big product launches in the future, including a generic version of Johnson & Johnson's
While these launches will help Teva in the near term, reaching its long-term goal of $20 billion in revenues by 2012 with a 20% net margin is probably going to require a major acquisition or two. That should be all right, as long as the company doesn't overpay.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Biogen is a pick of the Stock Advisor newsletter. J&J is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter. The Fool has a disclosure policy.