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Business & Technology

King Pharmaceuticals reports $548 million 4th quarter loss

February 26th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

BRISTOL, Tenn. — King Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of another company late last year pushed its financial results from black to red in the fourth quarter and full year 2008.

The Bristol, Tenn.-based company recorded a charge of $590 million related to its acquisition on Dec. 29 of New Jersey-based Alpharma Inc.

As a result of the charge, King posted a net loss of $548 million in the fourth quarter, or a loss of $2.25 per diluted share. That compares with net earnings of $43 million or 18 cents per diluted share reported in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Excluding the special charge, King’s net earnings equaled $59 million or 24 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter 2008.

For the full year, King posted a net loss of $333 million or a loss of $1.37 per diluted share in 2008. That compares with net earnings of $183 million or 75 cents per diluted share in 2007.

Excluding special items, net earnings equaled $304 million or $1.24 per diluted share in 2008.

King Chairman, President and CEO Brian A. Markison said the actions the company took in 2008 are “indicative of the continued aggressive execution of the strategy for long-term growth that we initiated a few years ago.”

“Our acquisition of Alpharma was particularly significant, as it further diversifies the company while strengthening our portfolio and development pipeline of pain management products, and increases our capabilities and expertise in this important market,” Markison said.

“Clearly 2008 was a transformational year for King Pharmaceuticals, and we are now a stronger, more efficient and competitive company, with an enhanced ability to deliver superior value to our stockholders,” said Markison.

Joseph Squicciarino, King’s chief financial officer, said the company implemented initiatives in the first quarter to integrate Alpharma into King’s operations and expects to capture synergies of $60 million as a result.

Also in the first quarter, King took steps to restructure its cost base following a court decision that could hasten the entry of a generic competitor to its product Skelaxin, which accounted for about a quarter of King revenues in 2008.

Cost-cutting measures included a 22 percent reduction in the work force, representing 760 positions. Locally, 70 jobs were eliminated at the Bristol headquarters.

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