Teva CEO promises to reshape, refocus company
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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' new Chief Executive Jeremy Levin promised on Tuesday to reshape the company into "the most indispensable medicines company in the world" and to provide significant value to its shareholders along the way.
At a meeting in New York with investors and analysts, Levin, who took over as CEO in May, said Teva would sustain "profitable growth" through 2017 and beyond despite numerous challenges, such as the looming 2015 patent expiration of its most important branded product, the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.
It accounts for about 20 percent of Teva sales and some 50 percent of its profits.
Investors were not immediately convinced and Teva shares fell 2 percent to close at $41.67 in New York.
The Israel-based company provided details about its cost-cutting plans, areas of focus going forward and new product development.
"Teva will be a reshaped company," Levin said, and one that will be more transparent and accountable to Wall Street and its investors than it has been in the past.
He said the dramatic transformation was underway.
"We have a completely new organization, a completely new management team," Levin told Reuters after the meeting.
"We have a process already ongoing inside the company. We are focused on credibility. We are focused on new products. We are changing our pipeline."
Teva said it would continue to return money to shareholders through its dividend and $3 billion share buyback program, but it did not announce increases to either.
"I and other investors were hoping for a little more giveback of cash to investors a little short-term candy, but they took an approach of being conservative," said Steven Tepper, an analyst with Harel Finance said.
But he said Levin accomplished his mission for the meeting.
"He really put forward his strategy and he's going to make a big difference in the company," Tepper said.
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