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ORANGE COUNTY EARNINGS

Foreign Economic Problems Cost ICN Pharmaceuticals

November 11, 1998|Barbara Marsh

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., citing economic turmoil in Russia and Eastern Europe, posted a wider-than-expected loss for the third quarter.

The Costa Mesa-based drug company said it lost $65 million, or 89 cents a share, compared with a profit of $34.6 million, or 61 cents a share, for the comparable period last year. Revenue fell nearly 9% to $163.0 million from $177.4 million.

The company reported a pretax loss of $75 million for the recent quarter in Eastern Europe. The loss included a $35-million charge for currency valuations and a $35-million reserve for uncollected bills.

Third-quarter sales in Eastern Europe were off 34% to $65 million from $99 million a year ago. The company said sales dropped in Yugoslavia after it quit extending credit to its big customer, the Yugoslav government. Sales were higher in Russia, but the company posted a $32-million loss stemming from the recent devaluation of the ruble.

ICN's stock closed at $21.33 a share, off $2.11, on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares had slumped to $18.50 earlier in the session.

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