52-WEEK FLOP: AUROBINDO PHARMA

Aurobindo Pharma, which has been in news for all the wrong reasons, has had a largely forgettable year. The stock reflected its many woes, losing heavily in the last year.

Its woes began in February 2011 when the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) slapped an import ban on its cephalosporin manufacturing plant. Though the facility contributed only about 3-4 per cent to the company's top-line — was estimated to have generated about $35 million in US sales — its repercussions have been far reaching.

That in May it received a warning letter from the FDA for its antibiotics manufacturing unit only added to its woes. In June, its subsidiary Axis Clinicals, which does clinical research, got into trouble with the Drug Controller General (India).

As a result, it financial performance slipped. The company has reported losses in the April and September quarter (Rs 123 crore and Rs 80 crore respectively) this fiscal. Increase in expenses relating to facility upgradation, higher power and staff costs besides the fixed overhead costs from its cephalosporin plant with no sales pressured its performance.

It is now waiting to hear from the FDA on the re-inspection of its two units. In a latest blow, income-tax officials conducted raids on its four units last Friday. The company and its promoters have been under the CBI scanner for alleged links to .

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