For the first time in four years, Sanofi forecasted its first increase in annual profit. But the company’s issuance of a cautious lookout disappointed analysts and investors, causing a slump in stock. Sanofi said earnings per share aside from other costs will grow from 4 to 7% at constant currencies. Earlier predictions pegged the growth at a higher 8.8% gain. Analysts said the company’s guidance target for the year was too low and disappointing.
The company’s stock fell 2.7% to 69.40 Euros in Paris, the home base of Sanofi. The slump was the lowest level in a year. Sanofi shares have yielded 3.4%, including reinvested dividends in the last 12 months.
Christopher Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi, said in an interview that it was a respectable growth and there are few who will do better in the industry in 2014. Highlights from Sanofi’s Q4 2013 report included:
CEO Viehbacher commented, “Sanofi’s growth profile emerged in Q4 2013 with total sales growing 6.5% at CER and growth platforms, which represented 72.9% of sales, increasing 10.0% at CER. Furthermore, new product launches are underway or imminent in most of Sanofi’s core businesses and several high potential R&D projects progressed in 2013, including alirocumab, sarilumab and U300.”