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Forest Laboratories (FRX) Posts Q3 Loss As Lexapro Weighs, Sees FY EPS At Low End

 January 15, 2013 07:27 AM

(By Balachander S) Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: FRX) slipped to a quarterly loss mainly due to sales lost after the expiration of Lexapro's patent exclusivity in March 2012, and the company expects 2013 results at the low end of its prior outlook.

The New York-based company said third-quarter sales of branded and generic Lexapro fell than the last two quarters, as Lexapro sales decreased closer to its "ultimately anticipated" levels.

On a non-GAAP basis, loss per share was 21 cents in the third quarter, compared with earnings per share (EPS) of $1.08 in the comparable period of last year.

[Related -Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX): Should Astrazeneca Plc Buy Forest Labs?]

The company slipped to a net loss of $153.61 million from profit of $278.4 million in the third quarter of last year.

Net revenue dropped 40 percent to $722.7 million, versus consensus estimate of a decline of 37 percent to $762 million. Lexapro sales tumbled to $20.3 million from $593.0 million.

Costs and expenses increased 6.7 percent to $907 million.

Looking ahead for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, FRX now sees non-GAAP EPS in the lower end guidance range of $0.45 to $0.60. It currently projects total revenue of between $3.1 billion and $3.2 billion, versus prior view of $3.2 billion. Analysts expect EPS of $0.25 on revenue of $3.15 billion.

The company develops branded forms of ethical drug products. Its products portfolio include: Lexapro to treat major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents; Namenda for the treatment of moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease; Bystolic for the treatment of hypertension.

[Related -Forest Laboratories, Inc. (FRX): Will The Force Switch Of Namenda XR Be Successful?]

The stock, which has been trading between $30.90 and $38.45 over the past year, ended Monday's regular trading at $37.59.

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