Japan's drugmakers post so-so results

Japan's drugmakers are suffering from the strong yen (among other things). Three of the biggies--Takeda, Daiichi Sankyo and Eisai--posted either declining sales or declining earnings, or both. "Japanese drugmakers have expanded their business overseas, making it more difficult for them to have control over the impact of currency fluctuations," Nobuhisa Asano, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research, told Bloomberg. Here's how the numbers stacked up:

Takeda saw the strong yen eat into its overseas sales, posting a 4.5 percent decline to $4 billion for the quarter. But it managed a boost in profits to $1.18 billion. "Actos has yet to lose patent protection but is already running out of steam, and Kapidex isn't showing enough strength to succeed Prevacid," Deutsche Securities analyst Kenji Masuzoe told Reuters.

Daiichi Sankyo posted its third quarterly loss in a row, because of its new Indian unit, Ranbaxy Laboratories. Sales grew--by 11 percent to $2.4 billion--but the bottom line was a $68 million loss, compared with a profit a year ago. As you know, Ranbaxy is still under a U.S. import ban, though it's anticipating a new inspection "any day."

Eisai saw its profits drop 1.7 percent because of the stronger yen, turning in profits of $171 million. Sales dropped less than 1 percent to $2 billion, on falling revenues from its ulcer drug Aciphex. Its Alzheimer's drug Aricept posted growth, however, of 3 percent in local currency.

- get the story from the Wall Street Journal
- find more on Takeda from Reuters
- see the Daiichi news from Bloomberg