* Q4 adjusted EPS $1.32 vs $1.29 forecast
* Q4 revenue $4.88 bln vs $4.84 bln forecast
* Generic drug prices fell about 5 pct in 2015
* Sees Q1 adjusted EPS $1.32-$1.36, revenue $4.7-$4.9 bln (Adds Teva comments, details from conference call)
By Tova Cohen
TEL AVIV, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries , the world’s largest generics drugmaker, reported a fall in fourth-quarter profit and revenue on lower sales of its top drug and said it expects to close its purchase of Actavis by early April.
Israel-based Teva agreed last year to buy Allergan’s Actavis generic business for $40.5 billion as well as Mexico’s Rimsa for $2.3 billion.
Teva had expected to close the Actavis deal by the end of the first quarter though Siggi Olafsson, CEO of global generic medicines, said that could slip into early April as the anti-trust review proceeds.
“We remain confident in completing the transaction and haven’t had any surprises during the process,” he told a conference call, noting Teva is working with four to five potential buyers in divesting certain assets.
Teva said on Thursday it earned $1.32 per share excluding one-time items and equity offerings in December in the fourth quarter, down from $1.33 a year earlier.
Revenue slipped 6 percent to $4.88 billion, although excluding foreign exchange fluctuations, revenue fell 1 percent.
Teva was forecast to earn $1.29 excluding one-off items on revenue of $4.84 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Global sales of its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone fell 14 percent to $1.0 billion. The drug, which accounts for about 20 percent of its revenue and 50 percent of profit, is now facing competition.
Sandoz, part of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, and Momenta Pharmaceuticals last June launched a once daily 20 mg version called Glatopa.
Revenue from generic drugs fell to $2.26 billion in the quarter from $2.47 billion.
Olaffson said Teva did not see the sharp drop in prices other competitors have seen recently, noting prices fell about 5 percent on average in 2015.
“We expect to see the same in 2016. Nothing today points to a significant change in the generic pricing environment,” he said.
Teva forecast adjusted first-quarter earnings excluding the equity offerings of $1.32-$1.36 and revenue of $4.7-$4.9 billion. It said it will provide a full year outlook in the second quarter, shortly after the Actavis closing.
CEO Erez Vigodman reaffirmed Teva’s sales target of a 12.5 percent compound annual growth rate from 2015-2018 and 20 percent for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. He expects to generate free cash flow of $20-$25 billion from 2016-2018.
Teva said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 34 cents a share. (Additional reporting by Steven Scheer in Jerusalem; Editing by Alexander Smith)