ICN Posts Loss on Charges to Consolidate

From Reuters

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss versus a year-earlier profit as it took charges to consolidate after years of geographic expansion spearheaded by retired founder Milan Panic.

ICN, based in Costa Mesa, had a loss of $100.7 million, or $1.20 a share, compared with a profit of $33.5 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, ICN reported a profit of 11 cents a share for the latest quarter. Wall Street analysts on average had expected a profit of 10 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose nearly 3% to $199.6 million on increased royalties from higher sales of its hepatitis C drugs.

ICN a year ago partially spun off Ribapharm Inc. in an initial public offering. Ribapharm makes ribavirin, an antiviral drug sold by Schering-Plough Corp. as part of its combination treatment for hepatitis C.

ICN said it expects to earn $1.20 to $1.25 a share for 2003. Analysts on average expect $1.10.

On Thursday, shares of ICN fell 7 cents to $9.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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