ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. posted a net loss of $97.8 million, or $1.34 a share, for the second quarter after writing off $130 million for money that a government agency in Yugoslavia owes to the Costa Mesa-based drug maker.
ICN, which is generating about 15% of its revenue in Yugoslavia, had warned two weeks ago that it was taking a sizable charge against earnings because the government agency may not be able to pay the debt. The news had sent the company's stock into a tailspin.
Without the charge, the company said profits rose 53% as Schering-Plough Corp. started selling an ICN drug in combination with one of its own to treat hepatitis C.
Profit before the charge totaled $32.6 million, or 42 cents a share, up from $21.3 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. ICN was expected to earn 40 cents a share, according to a poll of three analysts conducted by First Call Corp. Revenue rose 45% to $233 million from $160 million.
ICN attributed the revenue gains to the Schering-Plough pact as well as increased sales of drugs in emerging markets, such as Latin America and Russia.
In a statement, ICN Chairman Milan Panic said the company is "comfortable" with analysts' 1998 earnings estimates of $2.12 a share, up from $1.69 a share last year.
ICN's stock fell $1.31 to $28.38 per share.
ICN said its sales in Latin America rose to $20 million from $14 million. In Eastern Europe, sales rose to $109 million from $90 million.
For the six months, ICN posted a loss of $63.6 million, or 88 cents a share, including the $130 million charge. The company earned $43.6 million, or 66 cents a share, for the first six months last year. Revenue rose 48% to $473.7 million from $319.2 million.