New Teva chief slashes sales forecast by $1B

Teva's new chief has spoken. After keeping mum about his outlook for the year when the company issued first-quarter results, CEO Jeremy Levin delivered some numbers during a conference call this morning. This year's revenue won't come in at the $22 billion previously projected, he said, and nor will the company be as profitable as earlier forecasts indicated.

Levin, who joined Teva ($TEVA) from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), cut the company's sales forecast to $20 billion-$21 billion. His earnings outlook is $5.30 to $5.40 per share, rather than the $5.48 to $5.68 previously projected. U.S. revenues will suffer by $530 million this year, he predicted, because of some "strategic changes," Globes news service reports.

Europe's woes are weighing on Teva just as they are on other drugmakers, Levin said. "[O]ur outlook has been impacted by more than $1 billion due to negative currency effects totalling $600 million and the ongoing macroeconomic conditions and health care reforms in key European markets will have an estimated impact of $400 million," he said (as quoted by Reuters).

Since Levin declined to affirm Teva's guidance on May 9, its shares have declined by 15%, Globes says. Now that he's issued some new numbers, the stock is on the rise: Shares gained 1.67% by market close in Israel.

What market-watchers really want, however, is Levin's plan for remaking Teva's strategy. Known for his "string-of-pearls" dealmaking at Bristol-Myers, Levin could bring the same approach to Teva, or so the theory goes. Today, though, Levin only talked about shedding assets, rather than buying them: "If there are businesses that don't fit, we will look to divest them." He promised a detailed strategic plan by year's end.

- read the Reuters news
- get more from Globes

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