Zoetis profit falls on charges

Now Media Group


Zoetis Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit tumbled on a hefty charge for cutting operations in Venezuela, but the results still topped Wall Street expectations.

The maker of animal health and veterinary products saw profit fall 83 percent to $22 million, or 4 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, came to 43 cents per share. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 39 cents per share.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $1.27 billion in the period as a stronger dollar cut into international sales.

For the year, the Florham Park, N.J.-based company reported profit of $339 million, or 68 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $4.76 billion.

Zoetis is the world's biggest maker of medicines for pets and farm animals. It was spun off by Pfizer Inc. in 2013 and sells products including LymVax, a lyme disease vaccine for dogs and Revolution, which protects cats and dogs from fleas. In November, the company announced the $765 million purchase of privately-held Pharmaq, a maker of vaccines and other health products for aquaculture.

The acquisition helps boost the company's position in the farmed fish market, which accounts for about half of all fish consumption. Pharmaq gives Zoetis a mix of vaccines, diagnostic products and parasite-killing drugs such as AlphaMax, which protects farmed salmon from sea lice.

Looking ahead, Zoetis expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.71 to $1.81 per share, with revenue in the range of $4.65 billion to $4.78 billion.

Zoetis shares rose $1.32, or 3.3 percent, to $41.75 in premarket trading. Its shares have declined nearly 2 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has dropped nearly 2 percent. The stock has climbed slightly more than 3 percent in the last 12 months.