Sepracor stepped into the earnings confessional this morning with some less-than-stellar news, announcing both a decline in third-quarter net and plans to reduce its workforce. The pharmaceutical firm pulled in a profit of $42.9 million, or 37 cents per share, compared to its year-ago results of $64.4 million, or 56 cents per share. Revenue for the 3-month period slumped to $283.9 million, down from $289.3 million in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts were expecting Sepracor to turn a profit of 26 cents per share on $289 million in revenue.
Sepracor said its full-year forecast remains unchanged, with revenue expected to fall between $1.23 billion and $1.3 billion, but the company tightened its earnings forecast range from $1.00-to-$1.30 per share to $1.05-to-$1.15 per share. The results will include fourth-quarter restructuring charges, including Sepracor's plans to slash the number of jobs in its sales force by 300. Sepracor expects the layoffs, together with other cost-reduction initiatives, will reduce its sales and marketing expenditure by $90 million to $100 million in 2008.
Shares of Sepracor are up nearly 16% in pre-market activity after closing on a fractional loss in Monday's trading. After several years of dormant price action that had SEPR edging sideways below the 60 level, the stock plunged lower in February 2007. The shares have since given up about 58% of their value under pressure from their 10-week moving average. However, option traders seem fairly enamored of the underperforming shares; SEPR's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.29 is lower than 92% of other such readings taken in the past 52 weeks.