Perrigo posts higher 3Q earnings

ALLEGAN: Perrigo Co. said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 15 percent, as the drugmaker saw double-digit sales growth in its largest segment, consumer healthcare.

The company also raised its forecast for 2009, sending its shares up nearly 8 percent in morning trading.

Net income increased to $45.9 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 28. That compares to $40 million, or 42 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Sales increased 5 percent to $505.9 million.

The company reported income from continuing operations of 50 cents per share, which excludes charges.

Analysts expected, on average, income of 45 cents per share on $527 million in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Perrigo said consumer healthcare sales rose 12 percent to $419.1 million from $373 million in the same quarter last year. The company attributed the jump to several acquisitions and product sales in the gastrointestinal, cough/cold, smoking cessation and nutrition categories.

The drugmaker also said unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates partially offset those gains.

Perrigo raised the lower end of its projected profit range for 2009, now expecting adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.80 to $1.90 per share. The company's previous forecast was $1.75 to $1.90 per share. Analysts expect 2009 earnings per share of $1.77.

The company said it decided in March to sell its Israel Consumer Products business, and results from that business were reflected as discontinued operations in its third quarter. Perrigo reported net income from continuing operations of 50 cents per share.

Shares rose $1.97, or 7.8 percent, to $27.11.