King Pharmaceuticals’ share price took a knocking in New York late last week after the company posted its fourth quarter and full-year 2004 financial results, which it has been forced to restate to recognise a reserve fund gained through product returns and stock management [[09/12/04d]], revealing a 50% tumble in fourth quarter earnings to $14.7 million dollars versus the previous year.

Net revenue from branded pharmaceuticals dropped 7% in the quarter to $308 million, including a 21% dip in sales of the blood pressure drug, Altace (ramipril), to $91.7 million, and a 45% slide in sales of the thyroid medicine, Levoxyl (levothyroxine sodium), to $21.3 million.

For the full-year, total revenues decreased 13% to $1.3 billion, while net loss came in at $160.3 million, versus earnings of $91.9 million in 2003.

King also said it had decided to discontinue its program to develop a modified release formulation of the sleep drug, Sonata (zaleplon), which it acquired from Elan [[13/06/03b]], because it did not believe the Irish firm would be able to develop a modified release version of the drug to meet contractually agreed specifications.

“We believe that we have turned the company in the right direction and are poised for growth in 2005,” said Brian Markison, King’s president and chief executive officer.

- Meanwhile, positive data from a trial of King and Palatin Technologies’ investigational erectile dysfunction offering, PT-141, failed to compensate for the disappointing earnings performance.

King says that men taking PT-141 in combination with Pfizer’s Viagra (sildenafil) had significantly increased erectile activity than those receiving Viagra alone.

King and Palatin are investigating PT-141 in the treatment of both male and female sexual dysfunction [[16/08/04c]].