November 8, 2016 / 1:02 PM / 2 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 3-Endo warns of more pressure on generics business in 2017

(Adds dropped word “results” in second paragraph)

* Sees more pricing, competitive pressures in 2017

* Company’s Q3 adjusted EPS, sales top estimates

* Company’s legacy generics business weighs

* No decision made as yet on asset sales - CEO

* Shares reverse premarket gains, fall 9 pct

By Natalie Grover

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Endo International Plc is facing increasing pricing and competitive pressures in its U.S. generics business and the trends will likely worsen in 2017, newly appointed Chief Executive Paul Campanelli said on Tuesday.

The warning overshadowed Endo’s better-than-expected quarterly results that were driven by higher demand for its generic drugs, which accounts for about 60 percent of total revenue.

Endo’s shares, which gained more than 4 percent in premarket trading, reversed course to trade down 9 percent at $14.29 in regular trading hours on Tuesday.

The 45 percent increase in Endo’s U.S. generic business in the third quarter was driven by the drugs it acquired when it bought Par Pharmaceuticals last year, while sales declined in the company’s legacy generics business.

The deeper-than-expected “erosion trends” in Endo’s legacy generics business as well as pricing pressure in the quarter indicate “stronger headwinds on the front as we exit the year,” Campanelli said on a post-earnings call.

These pressures could also eat into Endo’s adjusted gross margins and the company’s pursuit of drug approvals, said Campanelli, who led the generics business until he took over the CEO role in September.

Generic drug makers such as Endo, Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd have come under heightened political and regulatory scrutiny over suspected price collusion.

Endo, which slashed its earnings forecast in May amid fierce competition, on Tuesday reaffirmed its full-year revenue and profit forecast.

The company’s total revenue rose 18.6 pct to $884.3 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, beating analysts’ average estimate of $862.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, Dublin, Ireland-based Endo earned $1.01 per share, handily beating analysts’ average estimate of 81 cents.

Endo, whose net debt was $7.7 billion as of Sept. 30, has not decided to divest any assets, Campanelli said, promising an update in February.

The company has discussed a sale of Paladin Labs Inc, its Montreal-based specialty pharmaceutical unit, to Canadian drug maker Knight Therapeutics Inc, Reuters reported last week, citing sources.

Endo, much like its Canadian peer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , is reeling with a large debt load and facing mounting pressure over its pricing strategies, after years of relying on acquisitions to juice growth.

Valeant’s shares tumbled 19 percent on Tuesday after the company slashed its full-year forecast and warned that 2017 could be even more challenging as some products face new competition. (Reporting by Natalie Grover and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Savio D’Souza)

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