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Guidance Update From Actavis

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Actavis (ACT - Free Report) recently provided encouraging outlook for 2013 and 2014 at its annual investor meeting.

Actavis reiterated its guidance for 2013. The company expects earnings to come in modestly above the higher end of its previous guided range of $9.26 –$9.39 per share in 2013. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $9.40.

For 2014, Actavis expects to generate revenues above $10 billion, in line with the current Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings per share are projected in the range of $12.60–$13.10. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12.89 is well within the company’s guidance.

Actavis also provided light on its newly restructured global commercial operations and expanded pipeline. We remind investors that Actavis acquired Warner Chilcott in 2013 resulting in the creation of a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company with focus on women's health, urology, gastroenterology and dermatology.

The year 2013 was strong for Actavis with launches of generic versions of Suboxone tablets, Lidoderm, Cymbalta and Zovirax in the U.S.

The acquisition of Warner Chilcott not only strengthened Actavis’ portfolio but also expanded its pipeline with more than 25 products in various stages of development. Sales growth in 2013 was strengthened by the launch of the Warner Chilcott products – Delzicol, Minastrin 24 Fe and Doryx 200mg along with robust sales of core products like the Rapaflo and Generess Fe franchises. Key drug approvals in 2013 include Oxytrol and Crinone 8% in the U.S., Fibristal and LoLo in Canada, Rapaflo in Brazil and Levosert in the UK and additional European countries.

The pipeline progress in 2013 was also encouraging. At the end of 2013, Actavis had 53 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) filed in the U.S. Phase III trials on Levosert (an intrauterine device for the indications of long term contraception and treatment of heavy bleeding) have been completed and Actavis expects to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014.

In addition, the biosimilars pipeline also made good progress. Actavis has collaborated with Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) to develop biosimilar version of Herceptin, biosimilar version of Avastin and rFSH – all three are in phase III trials.

Meanwhile, Actavis also announced a realignment of its global strategic business structure to operate more efficeintly. As per the new organizational structure, Actavis’ global generics, specialty brands, branded generics, legacy brands, over-the-counter (OTC) and third-party commercial operations and business development have been consolidated into a single new division. Moreover, the research and development (R&D) organizations of the generic, brand, inhalation and biosimilars divisions have been consolidated.

We believe Actavis looks well-positioned for strong growth following the Warner Chilcott acquisition and should achieve its annual targets for 2014. With fewer major patent expiries slated to occur in the next few years, we are encouraged by Actavis’ focus on building its branded and biosimilars pipeline.

Actavis carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks which look attractive at current levels include Actelion and Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB - Free Report) .  Both carry a comparable Zacks Rank #1.

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