A pharmaceutical giant that has seen its stock plummet after a shortage of a crucial drug for a rare lung disease has reported its biggest one-day fall in two years.
Sca Pharma reported that it had a loss of US$2.9bn ($2.2bn) on sales of US $19.5bn in the three months to March 28, down from a profit of $3.5 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The company said it had to lower its full-year profit forecast to between US$4bn and US$5bn because of the shortage of the drug Mycobacterium avium-19, which is needed for rare lung diseases.
Janssen, whose US shares have plunged by more than 80% over the past 12 months, said it would be forced to raise its dividend by 5% to offset the loss.
“Our company is still in the middle of the worst global pandemic,” Janssens CEO André Jansson told investors on a conference call.
“We have to start raising the dividend and this is a very difficult time for the company.”
The company also reported a second-quarter loss of about US$1.3bn.
Jensen said the shortage could continue as long as there is a shortage.
“It is an urgent need for the world,” Jensson said.
“This situation is very serious.
If we don’t solve it, we will end up having to pay a huge premium to other players for this one particular medicine.”
The latest shortage of Mycocobacteria avium is linked to a recent pandemic that killed nearly 5,000 people and forced nearly two million to flee their homes.JANSS’ loss could hurt its stock, which has lost more than a third of its value in recent weeks amid a slump in sales of a number of other medicines.
“The world has been dealing with a pandemic in the last three or four months and the global supply of Mycillin [an injectable drug] is already at a point where we have to consider the next three months,” said Jim Dabrowski, managing director at Medley Capital, an investment firm.
“That’s a huge, huge problem.”
The shortages of several other drugs have also contributed to falling market value for Jansens shares.
In January, it reported a loss for the year of about $4bn, and a loss in the quarter of US$.8bn in 2015.
Jansdens shares fell by over 70% in the first nine months of the year, and they have since regained ground.
But they are down by more, about 10%, on the year.
In a statement on Friday, Jansaens said it planned to announce plans to cut costs over the next year, but declined to comment further on the possible closure of its US headquarters in Austin.
“I can’t speak to any particular details of those plans but we are making decisions based on the facts and our objective is to continue to grow and invest for the long-term,” Jansson said.
The company is also in the process of closing its international operations, which have been operating in China and Japan.
The US stock market has been rocked by the latest pandemic, with stocks on Wall Street tumbling more than 30% in just one day last week.
Shares in the United Kingdom and other markets fell as much as 9% in a day, while the Australian dollar fell by more as investors worried about the health of the global economy.