Bloomberg News

Ranbaxy Slumps After Reporting Biggest Loss in Ten Quarters

November 09, 2011

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., India’s biggest drugmaker, fell the most since May in Mumbai trading after reporting the worst loss in 10 quarters because of foreign exchange losses.

The 4.65 billion rupees ($93 million) net loss compares with a profit of 3.08 billion rupees a year earlier, Ranbaxy said in a statement today. The company, based near New Delhi, was expected to report 1.46 billion rupees in profit, according to the median estimate of 26 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

A slump in the rupee increased Ranbaxy’s cost of hedging, a tool companies use to protect against price swings. The rupee has dipped 11 percent against the dollar in the past 12 months, making it the worst performer of 10 major Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Ranbaxy’s foreign-exchange losses related to derivatives and overseas loans totaled 6.51 billion rupees.

Ranbaxy ended trading down 4.4 percent at 475.1 rupees at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai, while the benchmark Sensitive Index, or Sensex, slid 1.2 percent. The stock has fallen 21 percent so far this year, more than the BSE Sensex’s 15 percent fall. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., India’s second biggest drugmaker, has dropped 3.8 percent during the same period.

Sales rose 7.4 percent to 20.2 billion rupees, missing the median estimate of 27 analysts of 24.3 billion rupees.

Ranbaxy continues to cooperate and negotiate with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Department of Justice for a comprehensive settlement to address its regulatory issues, the company said today.

Generic Lipitor

The drugmaker has said it aims to start selling a generic version of Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor cholesterol pill by the end of November. The generic drug, if approved, will be Ranbaxy’s single largest product to date and could generate $650 million in sales over six months, according to the median of five Mumbai-based analysts.

U.S. enforcement actions against Ranbaxy began in 2008 when the FDA cited manufacturing defects at two of the company’s plants and subsequently barred it from selling 31 different drugs in the U.S. The ban has yet to be lifted.

A group of 11 Calfornia pharmacies are suing Ranbaxy and Pfizer over claims the two companies agreed to hold back a generic version of the cholesterol-lowering pill in the U.S. and then fixed its price.

Pfizer believes the suit has no merit and is confident that the Lipitor patent settlement with Ranbaxy is appropriate, Chris Loder, a Pfizer spokesman said yesterday.

--Editors: Jason Gale, Katrina Nicholas

To contact the reporter on this story: Adi Narayan in Mumbai at anarayan8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net


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