TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries forecast lower revenue and profit for 2019 on Wednesday, missing analysts’ expectations, as it faces generic competition for two key branded drugs.

A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building is seen in Jerusalem December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/Files

Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, has been counting on its new migraine treatment Ajovy to revive its fortunes after it was forced to restructure to tackle a debt crisis.

Sales from its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone have been declining due to generic competition.

“Looking ahead, we continue to expect that 2019 will be the trough for our business, a year in which we will experience similar challenges to those of 2018 including the continued erosion of Copaxone in the U.S. and Europe as well as the introduction of generics in the ProAir (inhaler) market,” Chief Executive Kare Schultz said.

Teva shares were down 10 percent to $17.20 in premarket trade in New York.

For 2019 the company forecast adjusted EPS of $2.20-$2.50 and revenue of $17.0-$17.4 billion. Analysts were forecasting EPS of $2.81 on revenue of $17.9 billion for this year.

Teva earned 53 cents per share excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 93 cents a year earlier.

Revenue fell 16 percent to $4.6 billion due to generic competition to Copaxone, a decline in revenue from U.S. generic drugs and a loss of revenue following the divestment of some products and discontinuation of certain activities.

Analysts had forecast Teva would earn 54 cents a share ex-items on revenue of $4.5 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

North American sales of Copaxone tumbled 44 percent in the quarter to $356 million while generic product sales in North America fell 10 percent.

Sales of Ajovy, which won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September, were just $3 million in 2018 but are expected to grow to $150 million this year.

Reporting by Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer; Editing by Jan Harvey


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