March 13, 2008 / 11:43 AM / in 9 years

Biovail posts loss, hit by charges and competition

TORONTO (Reuters) - Biovail Corp BVF.TO BVF.N reported a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday as competition from generic drug makers and charges for a proposed settlement of a U.S. shareholder class action lawsuit took their toll.

Canada's biggest publicly traded drug company said it lost $32 million, or 20 cents a share, for the three-month period ended December 31, compared with a profit of $118 million, or 74 cents a share, during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter dropped nearly 34 percent to $203.9 million from $307.6 million in the same quarter of 2006. Biovail blamed the fall on greater generic competition for its Wellbutrin XL anti-depressant drug.

Analysts had expected earnings of 39 cents a share, and revenue of $196.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Excluding items, the company said it earned $72.5 million, or 45 cents a share, for the quarter.

Biovail said its quarterly results were hit by a charge of $83.1 million related to a class action lawsuit that centered on claims Biovail made regarding its two key products, Cardizem LA and Wellbutrin XL.

Other charges absorbed in the quarter included $10 million for a potential settlement of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a $9.9 million impairment charge related to the writedown of certain product rights and technology assets.

For the full year, the company reported net income of $195.5 million, or $1.22 a share, down from $211.6 million, or $1.32 a share, in 2006. Its 2007 revenue was $842.8 million, compared with $1.07 billion the previous year.

Biovail shares closed at C$13.12 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday and are down 1.8 percent so far in 2008.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Peter Galloway

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