Bid target Shire grows earnings 6% but holds cautious outlook

The Irish drugmaker willing to recommend $64bn offer from Takeda to shareholders

Shire’s earnings in the first quarter were helped by higher sales of drugs for rare diseases. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Shire’s earnings in the first quarter were helped by higher sales of drugs for rare diseases. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

 

Shire, the Irish drugmaker targeted by Takeda Pharmaceutical, reported a 6 per cent rise in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, while keeping its cautious outlook for the year in the face of increasing drug competition.

Shire is willing to recommend a $64 billion offer from Takeda to shareholders, in what would be the biggest acquisition of a drug company since 2000, but investors see risks to the ambitious deal being consummated.

Currency factors flattered Shire sales in the quarter as Shire felt the impact of falling sales of its flagship ulcerative colitis drug Lialda. Early generic competition to Lialda has added to Shire’s recent problems.

Earnings in the quarter were helped by higher sales of drugs for rare diseases and a lower tax rate, partially offset by lower gross margins.

Quarterly revenue of $3.77 billion was slightly ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $3.72 billion, generating non-GAAP diluted earnings per American Depository Share of $3.86. – Reuters