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Hi-Tech Pharmacal profits fall 56% from 2011

Hi-Tech Pharmacal employees at the Amityville plant in

Hi-Tech Pharmacal employees at the Amityville plant in 2010. Credit: Tom Decker, 2010

Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., an Amityville-based drugmaker, reported a steep drop in first quarter profits Wednesday as increased competition lowered the price of its prescription nasal spray.

The company's net income fell 56 percent to $6 million, or 44 cents per share, during May, June and July, from the year-earlier period. Revenue dropped 7 percent, to $52 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 68 cents per share on revenue of $57.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Hi-Tech's shares tumbled 10 percent, to $32.77, on the disappointing earnings report.

"This quarter was weaker than recent quarters for Hi-Tech, but we still anticipate growth in all of our businesses this year," Hi-Tech Pharmacal president and chief executive David Seltzer said in a statement announcing the earnings.

The decline in sales comes as Mumbai-based drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd. has begun manufacturing nasal spray. The added competition in the market has depressed prices, causing revenue from Hi-Tech Pharmacal's spray, fluticasone propionate, to slip 16 percent, to $22 million.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal's bottom line was further hampered by increased expenses for research and development, advertising and other areas as the company prepared to bring new products to market, the company said.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal employs about 425 people, including roughly 290 on Long Island. It also has a facility in Richmond, Va.

In June, the company received a $500,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to expand its Amityville facility in return for keeping the jobs on Long Island and creating dozens of new ones.

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