Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s results show an improvement over the September quarter, even better than what the Street was hoping for.

The launch of generic Gleevec in the US market in the March quarter may raise hopes that it can sustain growth in the near term.

Beyond that, investors will have to wait for an answer to the question on when the Halol facility—under the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) scrutiny—will become compliant again. Sun Pharma’s management said it expects to ask FDA to reinspect the facility in the first quarter of FY17. When FDA will actually visit and whether it will clear the unit is uncertain.

Sun Pharma’s remediation efforts at the Halol plant held back US sales growth, as did competitive pressure. Fewer product launches, too, are responsible. US sales growth was down 4.7%, sequentially, but adjusted for one-off sales in the September quarter of $40 million was up by 3.4%. This was mainly its subsidiary Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s doing, whose sales were up 21.7%. That shows that its own sales are under pressure. Still, the improvement in sales seen this quarter was better than what the Street expected.

Among other markets, India’s sales were up 8% over a year ago, better than the September quarter’s 1% growth. The company’s decision to withdraw promotional offers is affecting its sales growth. In emerging markets, currency volatility has hit growth, with sales declining 7% from a year ago.

While sales growth was better than expected, its operating profit was largely in line, growing 12% sequentially. Its net profit growth of 28% was much better than expected, although, chiefly, due to a sharp decline in interest and tax provisions.

This quarter’s results already contributed to a spike in its share on Friday. The company has launched generic Gleevec in the US market, with a six-month exclusivity period which is expected to be a major contributor to growth. The upswing in Taro’s fortunes is also something to feel good about.

The one major thorn in its side remains the unresolved situation at Halol. If that gets resolved in FY17, then it will be smoother sailing. Till then, it will be a wait-and-watch attitude among investors, absorbing the developments that every quarter brings.

Close