Bloomberg News

Hospira Rises After CEO Says Production Rebounds: Chicago Mover

February 14, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Hospira Inc., the maker of generic injectable drugs, surged the most in more than three years after the company said a factory cited for manufacturing problems had reopened and was nearing previous production levels.

Hospira climbed 9.5 percent to $37.46 at 10:14 a.m., after increasing as much as 10 percent in the biggest intraday gain since November 2008. Fourth-quarter profit excluding one-time items was 51 cents a share, the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company said in a statement today. The results beat the 47 cent average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The factory in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is now operating at about 60 percent to 70 percent capacity, close to where it was before the shutdown, Chief Executive F. Michael Ball said on a conference call with analysts today. The plant had been cited for manufacturing problems by U.S. regulators.

Hospira had an “okay” quarter that defied expectations, said Louise Chen, a Collins Stewart LLC analyst in New York, in an e-mail. The company credited strong sales of docetaxel, its chemotherapy drug, for the results and will have to show investors the gains are sustainable, Chen said.

Hospira had a fourth-quarter net loss of $214 million, or $1.30 a share, compared with net income of $60.6 million, or 36 cents, a year earlier, the company said.

Earnings including one-time costs may be $2 to $2.30 a share this year, a drop from $3.04 in 2011, the company said. The forecast was less than the $2.47 average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Quality-improvement actions” at Rocky Mount, as well as efforts to expand capacity, will shave 66 cents a share off earnings in 2012, the company said. It also forecast 2012 earnings that would come in below analyst predictions, due to remediation costs at its factories.

--Editors: Bruce Rule, Angela Zimm

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at anussbaum1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net


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