Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY: Quote) reported Thursday a 12 percent increase in first-quarter profit, above Street estimates, boosted by higher sales, even as its blockbuster drug Plavix recorded lower sales. The Biopharmaceutical firm also maintained its fiscal 2012 earnings forecast.
Type 2 diabetes drug Onglyza/Kombiglyze, Arthritis drug Orencia as well as two other cancer drugs posted significant sales in the quarter, while the sales of its flagship anti-clogging drug Plavix, for which the company will lose exclusivity in May 2012, declined 4 percent.
For its first quarter, net earnings attributable to the company rose 12 percent to $1.10 billion or $0.64 per share from last year's $986 million or $0.57 per share. The earnings growth would have been 10 percent on an adjusted basis.
On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.63 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Bristol-Myers' net sales grew 5 percent to $5.25 billion, but came in below Wall Street analysts' estimate of $5.26 billion. U.S. net sales increased 6 percent to $3.5 billion and international net sales grew 2 percent to $1.8 billion.
In the quarter, Plavix's sales dropped 4 percent to $1.69 billion, while the decline was 1 percent in the U.S. Sales of hypertension drugs Avapro/Avalide also declined 29 percent.
However, sales of Onglyza/Kombiglyze climbed 99 percent to $161 million and sales of cancer drug Sprycel improved 34 percent to $271 million. Orencia's sales grew 28 percent and that of chronic hepatitis B drug Baraclude improved 18 percent from a year ago. Cancer drug Yervoy, which was approved by the FDA in March 2011, had sales of $154 million in the quarter.
The company's gross margin was 75.2 percent in the quarter, higher than 73.2 percent in the same period a year ago.
In the quarter, marketing, selling and administrative expenses increased 8 percent, while advertising and product promotion spending and research and development expenses declined.
Chief Executive Officer Lamberto Andreotti said, "We reported good financial performance at both the top and bottom lines, a positive opinion in Europe on FORXIGA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and the presentation of important new clinical data from the Company's HCV franchise."
In February, the company completed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Inhibitex, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Bristol-Myers noted that Inhibitex's lead compound, INX-189, a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor in Phase II development, is part of a class of antivirals that may play a critical role as the backbone of future direct-acting antiviral-only combination approached to HCV treatment.
Looking ahead, Bristol-Myers continues to expect fiscal 2012 earnings per share between $1.90 and $2, while 21 analysts project full-year earnings of $1.97 per share.
The company previously had said that its worldwide sales for the year would be between $17.2 billion and $18.2 billion, assuming that worldwide sales of Plavix to be approximately $2.7 billion. Analysts currently expect sales of $18.02 billion for the year.
Bristol-Myers shares are currently trading at $33.75, down $0.54 or 1.57 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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