U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 4 mins

UCB Continues to Impress

Zacks Equity Research

UCB (UCBJF) posted full year 2011 adjusted earnings of $1.84 per share, sky-rocketing 143.4% from the year-ago earnings. Higher revenues and lower costs boosted earnings.


Annual revenues increased 6.0% to $4,525.9 million, driven by strong sales of Cimzia, Vimpat, Neupro and Keppra. [All growth rates are at constant currency basis]

While Cimzia (Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis) sales went up 63% in 2011, Vimpat (epilepsy) sales increased 70%. Neupro, which is marketed as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome, posted a sales growth of 16% from the year-ago figure. Sales of Keppra, also for epilepsy treatment, increased 3%.

The sales of all three drugs – Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro – experienced growth riding on improved patient demand. Increased penetration in the ex-US markets and less-than-expected generic competition helped drive Keppra sales.

Other Details

In 2011, gross profit went up 3%, as a result of higher sales and reduced cost of sales. Operating expenses climbed 6% during the reported period, as a result of higher marketing & selling expenses and increased research & development expenses.

Increased costs associated with expenses for the launch of new products in new markets resulted in higher marketing & selling expenses. Further, investment in late-stage pipeline and the initiation of multiple development programs led to the upside in research & development expenses.

Forecast for 2012

UCB expects 2012 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of €1.60 to €1.70, on revenues of €3.1 billion.

The company anticipates 2012 results to be driven by the continued sales of Cimzia, Vimpat, Neupro and Keppra.

Our View

We currently have a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) on UCB. We expect UCB to continue posting strong results riding on Cimzia, Vimpat, Neupro and Keppra sales.

Read the Full Research Report on UCBJF

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com