Sun, Aug 05, 2001 - Page 10 News List

Noven Pharmaceuticals falls 45 percent


Shares of Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc tumbled 45 percent Friday after the company cut its full-year guidance and declined to offer guidance for 2002 due to significantly lower orders from its European partner, Novartis Pharma AG.

Noven's stock dropped as much as 46 percent right after the opening bell, as Deutsche Banc analyst David Steinberg warned of the "extremely baffling and very negative development" in the company's business. Steinberg cut his Noven rating to buy from strong buy.

As a result of the lackluster European sales of Noven's two treatments of menopausal symptoms -- Estradot and Estalis -- the company on Thursday substantially cut its financial guidance for the rest of the year and declined to offer guidance for next year. Noven now expects 2001 earnings per share of US$0.40 to US$0.45, which is well below analysts' current estimates of US$0.66 a share, according to a Thomson Financial/First Call survey of five analysts. Noven's shares traded at US$18.92, down US$14.40 on the NASDAQ Friday. In the past 12 months, the company earned US$20.47 million on revenue of US$46.01 million.

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