Takeda financial hit from Actos settlement won't dim dividend

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber

Takeda Pharmaceutical is about to make history that it would prefer not to make. When it produces its quarterly report for the fiscal year that ended March 31, it is expected to post its first net loss since it first listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1949.

And Takeda would be doing so in a big way, to the tune of $832 million covering the entire fiscal year. The loss is due to the amount it set aside to settle thousands of lawsuits over its ill-fated Actos (pioglitazone) diabetes drug that allegedly caused bladder cancer.

Takeda has steadfastly insisted Actos was not responsible for the bladder cancer, but has lost suits in several courts so far, and finally settled out of court for the rest of them. The cost was $2.37 billion covering about 8,000 suits at the rate of $287,000 per case.

The settlement could rise to $2.4 billion, Takeda said in a news release, if at least 97% of the litigants agree to it.

On the other hand, the drug earned Takeda $16.8 billion in the United States alone over the course of its stint on the market, according to Nikkei. Takeda said in the release that it was taking a $2.7 billion charge against earnings for the 2014 final quarter.

Takeda itself had forecast a 39% drop in net profits for the year, not counting the reserves. But fear not, dear shareholders, Takeda still intends to pay dividends.

Finally, Takeda said it still "stands behind the substantial data that confirm a positive benefit/risk profile for Actos."

- here's the Nikkei story and the Takeda release