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Generic drugmaker Akorn's 4Q profit climbs 54 pct

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Akorn Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings climbed 54 percent, as acquisitions and the sale of newly approved products helped improve the generic drugmaker's revenue.

The Lake Forest, Ill., company said Tuesday it earned $8.8 million, or 8 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares to earnings of $5.7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2011.

Adjusted earnings totaled 13 cents per share. That excludes income tax provisions and acquisition-related costs, among other items.

Revenue jumped 68 percent to $71.5 million even though Superstorm Sandy disrupted manufacturing at the company's Somerset, N.J., ophthalmic factory for two weeks when it swept up the East Coast last fall.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of 12 cents per share, on $69.3 million in revenue.

The company said its revenue climbed due in part to the acquisition of some assets from Kilitch Drugs of India and three products made by H. Lundbeck of Denmark. New products launched in the fourth quarter include progesterone capsules and a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine.

Total operating expenses climbed 58 percent to $22.3 million in the quarter, reflecting higher selling, research and development and amortization costs.

For the full year, Akorn earned $35.4 million, or 32 cents per share, on $256.2 million in revenue.

Company shares climbed 18 cents to $12.74 in Tuesday morning trading while broader trading indexes edged up less than 1 percent. The stock has slipped more than 4 percent since closing 2012 at $13.36.