Mylan 3Q profit jumps; drugmaker raises forecast

PITTSBURGH -- Mylan Inc., a maker of generic and specialty prescription drugs, on Thursday posted a 35 percent increase in net income in the third quarter, mainly due to a big jump in sales.

The Pittsburgh-based company raised its 2012 profit forecast, to a range of $2.50 to $2.60 per share, after having increased the forecast in May from its earlier $2.30 to $2.50 range. The company beat Wall Street's profit expectations handily, but fell a tad short on sales.

Its shares jumped on the news and were up 88 cents, or 3.7 percent, at $24.82 in early-afternoon trading.

Mylan, the maker of the Epipen epinephrine auto-injector for treating severe allergic reactions, said net income was $211.3 million, or 51 cents per share. That was up from $156.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in 2011's third quarter.

Adjusted earnings, which excluded costs for restructuring and an accounting write-off for purchased assets, amounted to $341.3 million, or 83 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected 77 cents per share.

Revenue totaled $1.81 billion, up nearly 15 percent but below expectations of $1.85 billion.

Credit Suisse analyst Michael Faerm wrote to investors that total revenue was slightly below what he expected because of weakness in sales of generic drugs in North America.

That's despite the arrival in the U.S., since last December, of new generic versions of some wildly popular brand-name medicines taken daily by millions of people. Chief among those are what had been the world's two best-selling drugs _ cholesterol pill Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix _ as well as top-selling blood pressure drugs Diovan and Diovan HCT.

That softness was partly offset by a 21 percent rise in sales in Asia.

"Mylan delivered another outstanding quarter of top- and bottom-line growth, with strong double-digit growth in our specialty, North America and Asia Pacific businesses and return to growth" in Europe, Africa and the Middle East," CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement.

Faerm wrote that the main reason Mylan's profit beat expectations was that its adjusted gross margin jumped to 52.4 percent, from 48 percent a year earlier.

The company said unfavorable currency exchange rates due to the stronger dollar reduced total revenue about 5 percent. It also reiterated its 2013 adjusted profit target of $2.75 per share.