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UCB Beats on Revs

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UCB (UCBJF - Free Report) reported 2012 earnings per share of $2.80, up 12% on a reported basis but down 4% at constant exchange rates (CER).

Revenues for the year 2012 were approximately $4,450.7 million (up 7% on a reported basis and 2% at CER). Revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,323 million. UCB’s revenues primarily include sales of Cimzia, Vimpat, Neupro and Keppra.

All growth rates mentioned below are on a year-on-year basis and at CER.

Cimzia (Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis) sales went up 41% to €467 million in 2012, and Vimpat (epilepsy) sales came in at €334 million, reflecting an increase of 44%. Neupro, which is marketed as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS), recorded sales of €133 million, up 38%.

However, sales of Keppra, another epilepsy treatment, declined 16% to €838 million in 2012. Sales were hurt by generic competition in Europe.

In 2012, research and development (R&D) expenses were €890 million, up 10% year over year. In 2012 general and administrative expenses were €198 million, up 2% and selling and marketing expenses were €875 million, flat from the year-ago period.

Pipeline Update

In Aug 2012, Neupro was approved in the EU for early and advanced PD as well as RLS. For the PD and RLS indications, Neupro received regulatory approval in the US and Japan in April and Dec 2012, respectively. In Dec 2012, Cimzia was approved in Japan for rheumatoid arthritis.
2013 Guidance

For 2013, UCB expects revenues to grow in the low single-digits to about €3.4 million (excluding exchange rate impacts). UCB expects recurring EBITDA in the range of €680-710 million and earnings per share in the band of €1.90 - €2.05.

UCB carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Free Report) , SIGA Technologies, Inc. and QLT Inc. look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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