From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Alli returns to being Glaxo ally

Alli seems to be back in the good graces of the accounting department at GlaxoSmithKline.

 

The weight-loss drug, which is made in Aiken, was a drag on Glaxo’s books last year because of supply chain problems.

 

There was a three-month manufacturing freeze because Swiss drug company Roche could not provide the active ingredient – orlisat – because of quality problems in a different South Carolina facility. As supplies of Alli dwindled, Glaxo said it didn’t sell a single pill to pharmacies or retailers for three months.

 

When the first quarter results came out, Glaxo said Alli has been restocked in the U.S. and Europe. Alli sales, along with some other drugs in its consumer health care line, helped Glaxo bump its European sales figures by 4 percent and U.S. sales by 7 percent.

 

LOOKING AT PROFITS: Another earnings season is wrapping up, and some of the numbers are rather large.

 

So here’s a way to grasp what it means to make $4.6 billion in profit in three months, like Freddie Mac did for the first quarter of this year.

 

That’s $51 million a day after you’ve paid all the bills.

 

Or $2.1 million of profit every hour.

 

Freddie Mac earned $8,873 in net income in the 15 seconds that it took you to read these five sentences.

 

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