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Warner Chilcott 4Q income rises on reduced costs

NEW YORK (AP) -- Irish drugmaker Warner Chilcott PLC said Friday its net income climbed in the fourth quarter as its expenses decreased.

Warner Chilcott said sales of its osteoporosis drug Actonel and its acne drug Doryx continued to slump, but sales of oral contraceptives and its ulcerative colitis drug Asacol are improving. The company posted a lower income tax provision, lower sales and administrative costs, and lower amortization expenses compared to a year ago.

Warner Chilcott's net income rose to $124 million, or 49 cents per share, from $90 million, or 36 cents per share. If one-time items are excluded the company said it earned 91 cents per share in the latest quarter. Revenue fell 5 percent, to $612 million from $646 million.

Analysts expected income of 73 cents per share and $564.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Actonel sales have been falling because of generic competition in Canada and Western Europe, and because prescriptions for Actonel and similar drugs have decreased in the U.S. Doryx sales are also being hurt by generic competition. During the quarter Actonel sales sank 42 percent to $104 million and Doryx revenue fell 59 percent to $19 million.

Sales of oral contraceptive products rose 40 percent to $136 million. Sales of Loestrin FE rose 25 percent to $89 million and sales of Lo Loestrin FE, a low-dose version of the drug, doubled to $42 million.

Sales of Asacol grew 15 percent to $204 million, and sales of the company's menopause symptom treatment Estrace rose 21 percent to $51 million.

For 2012, Warner Chilcott's net income more than doubled, reaching $403 million, or $1.61 per share, as it reduced its spending. Its revenue fell 7 percent, to $2.54 billion from $2.73 billion.

Earlier this month Warner Chilcott said it expects to earn between $3.20 and $3.30 per share in 2013 excluding one-time costs on revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. Both ranges were then somewhat lower than Street expectations of adjusted income of $3.60 per share and revenue of $2.38 billion.

Analysts currently expect earnings per share of $3.29 and revenue of $2.34 billion, according to FactSet.

Shares of Warner Chilcott shed 1 cent to $13.75 in midday trading.