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Aceto attributes higher losses to new tax law

Aceto Corp. headquarters in Port Washington, seen on

Aceto Corp. headquarters in Port Washington, seen on Oct. 21, 2011. Credit: Barry Sloan

Drugmaker Aceto Corp. on Thursday reported higher losses in the October-December period compared with a year ago because of recent changes in federal tax law.

The Port Washington-based company said it lost $13.9 million in the final three months of 2017 compared with a loss of $600,000 in the same quarter of 2016.

Executives attributed all of the recent loss to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December.

They said the new law reduces the value of prior losses that the company can apply to future taxes. It also led to profits being brought to the United States from the company’s foreign operations, which increased the company’s U.S. taxes.

Sales totaled $171 million in the October-December period, up 36 percent year over year.

Generic drugs from Aceto’s Rising Pharmaceuticals unit in New Jersey face “pricing pressures . . . greater competitive intensity,” Aceto CEO William C. Kennally III said in a statement. “As we look at the second half of fiscal 2018, our operating assumption is the generic industry headwinds will not ease in the near term,” he said.

He also said some generic drugs would be discontinued, though there are no plans to reduce the 15 to 20 new products to be launched this year.

“Adverse market conditions are impacting the sales, profitability and market share of certain Rising products to a greater degree than anticipated,” Kennally said.

The earnings announcement came after the stock market had closed. In after-hours trading, Aceto shares were down 41 cents, or nearly 4 percent, to $10.50 on the NASDAQ stock market.

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