Shares in Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) fell -9% this morning after the pharmaceutical company missed expectations on Wall Street with its 4th quarter results and lowered its outlook for 2017.
The Danish company posted profits of 8.7 billion Danish kroner, or $1.26 billion USD, on sales of 29.57 billion kroner for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for bottom-line growth of 5% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, EPS were 3.45 kroner, 2% lower than the consensus on The Street.
Nordisk said it expects to see revenue growth of -1% to 4%, at constant currency rates. The company also widened the range for its operating profit forecast, predicting a range from a -2% decline and a 3% increase.
In October, it pegged flat to low single-digit percentage growth in operating profit and low single-digit growth in sales.
“We are looking at a 2017 plan that is still intact, but we operate in an environment that is increasingly volatile,” CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said on a conference call, according to Bloomberg.
NVO shares were trading at $33.69 apiece today in mid-morning trading, down -8.2%.
Nordisk and other insulin makers have been under increased pressure this year, as the companies have been repeatedly called out for price hikes.
This week, a class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, alleging that insulin makers Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), Nordisk and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) conspired to raise their list prices to get access to pharmacy benefit managers’ preferred lists, instead of competing with each other based on real market prices.
In the last 5 years, the 3 companies have raised the sticker prices on their drugs by more than 150%, according to the lawsuit. A recent study by the American Medical Association demonstrated that the price of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013.
Some of the lawsuits’ plaintiffs pay almost $900 each month for their diabetes medications, according to the firm representing the patients, Hagens Berman.