AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) Reports Falling Profits After Patent Expirations

AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) Reports Falling Profits After Patent Expirations

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) reported its second quarter earnings this morning, posting a 12 percent decline in profits because of competition from generic versions of some of its top sellers. The company’s sales fell by approximately $500 million because of the patent expirations. However, the decline during the second quarter was less than the 25 percent decline the drug maker attributed to generic drugs in the first quarter.

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AstraZeneca’s numbers broken down

Profits excluding items were $1.20 per share or $2.06 billion for the quarter. That’s compared to $1.57 per share or $2.33 billion in the same quarter a year ago. A consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg indicates expectations of $1.20 per share, so AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN)’s results were in line with consensus.

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Revenue fell to $6.23 billion, a 4 percent decline. That numbers was slightly ahead of Bloomberg’s consensus of $6.22 billion.

More of AstraZeneca’s patents expiring

The drug maker will continue to lose sales as more of its medications lose their patent protection. Crestor, the cholesterol control drug, and Seroquel, the antipsychotic medication, are both losing their patent protection. However, AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) is looking for ways to add more products. On Tuesday it announced that it would pay $815 million plus royalties to FibroGen Inc. for its experimental anemia therapy. In June the drug maker also announced it would acquire Pearl Therapeutics.

The drug maker’s Chief Executive Officer noted that patent expirations had a smaller effect on its profits in the second quarter, although the company still projects for sales to drop by a mid to high-single digit percentage if exchange rates are kept constant for the rest of this year. It expects core operating costs to increase to the low to mid-single digits.

Sales of Seroquel, Crestor, Atacand decline, Brilinta sales exceed estimates

The company saw 31 percent lower revenue from Seroquel, which fell to $438 million. Crestor sales dropped to $1.48 billion, a 4 percent decline. Sales of the blood pressure drug Atacand dropped to $166 million, a 37 percent decline in the quarter.

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) reported a significant increase in sales for the blood thinner Brilinta, which rose from $18 million in the same quarter a year ago to $65 million in the second quarter of this year. Analysts had been expecting to see just $58.9 million in sales of Brilinta.

AstraZeneca addresses legal problems

Last month staff members of AstraZeneca in China were interrogated by police. The drug maker said it is confident that the issue is an individual case and that it is sure that it has “the right processes in place to be compliant.”

The company is still cooperating with U.S. officials in connection with its practices in China and other markets while also conducting its own internal investigation.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at [email protected]
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