The market dominance and ability to command higher prices boosted Hospira's bottom line, CEO Michael Ball said in a morning call with investors. Global sales of specialty injectable pharmaceuticals rose 14% in the quarter, compared with the same period in 2013. In the Americas, those sales increased 17%. Net sales across the Lake Forest, Ill.-based company reached almost $1.14 billion in the second quarter, up 11%.
“Price continued to be a large contributor,” Ball said.
Hospira's second-quarter net profit more than doubled from $33 million in 2013 to $71 million this year. In the first six months, Hospira posted a $139 million profit, compared with a $44 million loss a year ago.
The strong quarter spurred executives to raise expectations for the rest of year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2014 are now projected to hit between $2.30 and $2.50, compared with the previous EPS guidance of $2.00 to $2.25.
Ball declined to discuss a reported deal with Danone. This week, the Financial Times said Hospira was looking to acquire the medical nutrition business of Paris-based Danone—best known for its yogurt products—for about $5 billion. Ball said Hospira is “always looking at opportunities” to increase shareholder value, but he would not comment on the market speculation.
Hospira's shares were trading at $55.17 in late morning activity, up more than 6%.
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