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Akorn Inc. swung to a loss partly due to lower vaccine sales, but still performed slightly better thanÂ an analystâ€™s expectation. The stock edged up.
The pharmaceutical company, specializing in ophthalmology, anesthesia, antidotes and rheumatology, had a net loss of $5.1 million,Â or 6 cents per diluted share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compared with a net income of $2.4 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter the prior year.Â The estimate by an analyst polled by Yahoo Finance was a loss of 8 cents per diluted share.
Quarterly sales were $19.4 million compared with $31.9 million in the year-earlier quarter, a decrease ofÂ 39Â percent.
Akorn attributed its net loss to lower vaccine sales, an increase in the unit cost of combined tetanus-diphtheria vaccines, and lower sales to wholesalers.Â Also, Akorn took a charge of $1.1 million in the value of warrants issued in conjunction with the companyâ€™s renegotiated revolving line of credit and subordinated debt.
Akorn launched two generic drugs: Ketorolac Tromethamine Ophthalmic, the generic form of Acular, used to relieve seasonal allergy eye-itching, with estimated brand sales of $119 million in 2008, and Hydralazine Hydrochloride, used to treat hypertension, with estimated sales of $23 million in 2008.
Vaccine revenue for the quarter decreased by $8.5 million from the year-earlier period.Â Akorn attributed this to a flu vaccine supply shortage and to strong third quarter 2008 sales after the introduction of a single dose vial tetanus-diphtheria vaccine.Â The company will not distribute the flu vaccine after the 2009 flu season.
The Akorn-Strides LLC joint venture provided Akorn $500,000 in equity earnings and sales of approximately $3.8 million during the third quarter.
The company did not provide fourth-quarter guidance but an analyst polled by Zacks Investment Research has a full-year estimate of a 17-cent loss per diluted share compared with 2008 full-year earnings of 7 cents per diluted share.
In the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, Akorn lost $22.7 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $6 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.Â Revenue fell 17 percent to $57.7 million from $67.6 million.
Akornâ€™s stock closed Tuesday at $1.61, up 6 cents or nearly 4 percent.