Teva 4Q Profit Doubles

World's biggest maker of generic drugs said profits more than doubled as the company expanded its European business and sales of its multiple sclerosis drug improved.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world's biggest maker of generic drugs, said Tuesday its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter as the company expanded its European business and sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone improved.

The Israeli company reported a profit of $771 million, or 85 cents per share, up from $379 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a variety of one-time items, like acquisition and restructuring costs, amortization and impairment charges, and a tax benefit, Teva said it earned $1.25 per share. Its revenue grew 16 percent, to $4.42 billion from $3.8 billion.

Analysts expected a profit of $1.28 per share and $4.64 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Analyst estimates usually exclude one-time costs and gains.

Teva said sales of Copaxone, which is the most-prescribed MS drug in the world, climbed 26 percent to $938 million. Sales of Teva's drug Azilect, a treatment for Parkinson's disease, rose 27 percent to $89 million. However, the company said respiratory drug sales fell 10 percent to $254 million.

Teva said its sales in North America grew 7 percent to $2.49 billion. European sales rose 43 percent to $1.32 billion after the company acquired German drugmaker Ratiopharm. The $5 billion deal closed in August. Sales in other markets rose 10 percent to $607 million.

The company continued its international expansion after the fourth quarter ended. In January, Teva bought Peruvian drugmaker Corporacion Infarmasa for an undisclosed amount.

Teva's one-time expenses in the fourth quarter included $229 million in acquisition, restructuring, and related costs, $123 million in amortization costs, and $94 million in impairment costs. It reported a tax benefit of $140 million.

For the full year, Teva said its profit climbed to $3.33 billion, or $3.67 per share, from $2 billion, or $2.23 per share. That was a gain of 67 percent. Revenue rose 16 percent, to $16.12 billion from $13.9 billion.

The company said it expects a profit of $4.90 to $5.20 per share in 2011, with revenue of $18.5 billion to $19 billion. Analysts expected a larger profit of $5.28 per share, on average, and $18.89 billion in revenue.

The company's shares fell $3.28, or 6 percent, to $51.70 in morning trading.
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