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Aceto profit drops 30 percent on lower drug sales

The headquarters of Aceto Corp. in Port Washington

The headquarters of Aceto Corp. in Port Washington on Oct. 21, 2011. The company announced Sept. 30, 2014, that it has acquired three drugs in an $8.2 million deal. Credit: Barry Sloan

Aceto Corp. saw its profit drop nearly 30 percent in the January-March period compared with a year ago on lower sales of drug products, executives said last night.

Shares in the Port Washington-based drug and chemical company fell more than 8 percent to $21.12 in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq exchange. The earnings report was released after regular trading had ended for the day.

Aceto said its profit totaled $5.4 million in its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31. That's down from $7.6 million in 2013.

Sales in the quarter fell 17 percent to about $125 million.

Sal Guccione, the company's chief executive, attributed the lower financial results to fewer sales of a very profitable ingredient sold to pharmaceutical businesses. He said the ingredient had boosted Aceto's earnings in January-March 2013.

He also said some of the drugs that Aceto introduced last year are facing more competition, and that it had rolled out fewer drugs this year.

"The third-quarter 2014 earnings performance was below that achieved last year primarily as a result of quarterly timing," he said.

One bright spot was Aceto's chemicals business, which generated more profits from lower sales, in part because of products gained from the December acquisition of Inter'actifs, a French supplier of ingredients used in cosmetics and other personal-care items.

Guccione said the local company remains "focused on our long-term strategy of investing in and expanding our . . . pharmaceutical business," which includes generic prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Last month, Aceto completed its purchase of the generic-drug maker PACK Pharmaceuticals LLC for up to $100 million.


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