AMRI posts a net quarterly loss in the midst of a realignment

Former Teva exec William Marth is the new CEO of AMRI
AMRI CEO William Marth

Marred by bad weather and an ongoing transition, contract drug developer AMRI ($AMRI) swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, but steady gains in revenue have the company optimistic about the coming year.

The Albany-headquartered company took a $1.8 million loss on the quarter after reporting a $4.3 million profit in the same period last year. On the upside, AMRI's quarterly revenue jumped 29% to $86.6 million, driven by a 35% increase in its contract sales. For the full year, the company boosted its total revenue 12% to $276.6 million but posted a $3.3 million net loss compared with last year's $11.8 million profit.

To blame is declining demand for discovery services, gradually evaporating royalty revenues and some inclement weather that forced Oso Biopharmaceuticals, a contractor AMRI purchased for $110 million last year, to briefly shut down.

But that's all in the past, according to AMRI. The company pulled off some record sales in the fourth quarter to make up for Oso's issues, CEO William Marth said, and management believes it can keep that momentum rolling into 2015. AMRI is now dialing up its projections for the year, expecting contract revenue growth of about 40%.

"We have much to be proud of in 2014 and are poised for a strong 2015," Marth said in a statement. "Despite a significant headwind from the loss of Allegra royalties in 2015, we believe continued strong growth in our base business, the contribution of our acquisitions, together with enhanced operational discipline, will lead to continued, significant growth in revenue and earnings in 2015."

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