It's an earnings kind of day today, with two of the brand-name biggies reporting, plus the leading generics maker. Here are the results:
- Schering-Plough reported a $3.4 billion loss for the fourth quarter, on charges related to its buyout of Organon BioSciences. Those accounting charges masked a 40 percent year-over-year increase in revenues to $3.72 billion. Products driving the increase include the arthritis med Remicade--which saw sales rise by 35 percent to $455 million--and the nose spray Nasonex.
- Despite generic competition that ate into sales of its sleeping pill Ambien, Sanofi-Aventis reported a 31 percent increase in profits to $1.09 billion for the fourth quarter. However, prior year results included an accounting charge of $311.8 million. Strong Plavix sales, which grew by 14 percent year-over-year, helped feed revenues. But sales of the company's top 15 drugs declined 0.3 percent.
- Generics maker Teva saw its fourth-quarter earnings jump by 20 percent, beating analyst expectations. Sales of the company's own treatment for multiple sclerosis, Copaxone, grew by 15 percent to become the no. 1 seller in the U.S. among MS meds.