Ambitious Actavis joins JPMorgan news fray with Street-beating EPS

Actavis CEO Brent Saunders

Actavis' ($ACT) fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 results won't be available until the middle of next month, but in the meantime, investors should expect big things, the company said Monday.

Based on a preliminary review of its Q4 numbers, the Dublin drugmaker expects non-GAAP EPS to outdo Wall Street's consensus estimates by 10% to 15%. "There were a number of significant highlights across our brand, generic, OTC and ANDA distribution businesses during the fourth quarter," CEO Brent Saunders said in a statement.

If Actavis' predictions come true, it'll be a solid start for the newly built-up pharma as it folds in merger partner Allergan ($AGN). After announcing their deal pact in November, the companies have since embarked on the combination process, outlining the new company's leaders and breaking out the job-chopping ax.

"We are continuing to make extensive progress in pre-integration planning activities that will ensure we can seamlessly operate as one combined company following close," Saunders said.

That'll be important for Actavis, which will have to buckle down and focus on sales if it wants to hit the lofty top-line projections it laid out with the buyout announcement. The company has said it's gunning for revenue growth of at least 8% a year, and that's a high mark for pharma's largest companies--and Actavis will be among them once it swallows its new $66 billion purchase.

But the way Saunders sees it, his company is still posed to deliver, and some recent regulatory activity will push it in the right direction. Just before year's end, the FDA green-lighted Alzheimer's-related dementia drug Namzaric. The pharma also in December won an FDA panel recommendation for an investigational anti-infective, AVYCAZ.

Don't forget its generics business, the company's focus before it pivoted toward branded drugs with buyouts of Warner Chilcott and Forest Labs. Actavis closed out last year having submitted more than 40 applications for new generics in the U.S., it said.

- read the release

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