Perrigo Co. Plc share slid 1.6% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the Dublin-based provider of consumer self-care products posted weaker-than-expected earnings for its first quarter. The company said it had net income of $3 million, or 2 cents a share, in the quarter, down from $58 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, adjusted per-share earnings came to 50 cents, below the 57 cents FactSet consensus. Sales fell to $1.010 billion from $1.083 billion, also below the $1.025 billion FactSet consensus. Perrigo has spent the past two years changing from a healthcare company to a consumer self-care company and announced the sale of its generic drug business on March 1. That deal is expected to generate about $2 billion in cash. “We have made the necessary investments in infrastructure, capabilities, talent and capacity, and as a result have restored Perrigo to growth, all while weathering the storm of a horrific global pandemic,” Chief Executive Murray S. Kessler said in a statement. Earnings and sales declines were due to consumer pantry loading a year ago and a historically weak cough and cold season this year, both caused by COVID-19, he said. “Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we are encouraged to see the recent increases in retail store foot traffic, more people traveling again, and children returning to school in the fall,” he said. The company is still expecting fiscal 2021 adjusted EPS to range from $2.50 to $2.70, compared with a FactSet consensus of $2.62. Shares have fallen 3.6% in the year through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 11.5%.
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