Bristol Myers Squibb results top estimates as new drugs post strong sales growth 

Bristol Myers Squibb results top estimates as new drugs post strong sales growth 

Bristol Myers Squibb reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped expectations on Friday as its portfolio of new drugs posted strong sales growth. 

Here’s what the company reported for the fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.70 adjusted vs. $1.53 expected
  • Revenue: $11.48 billion vs. $11.19 billion expected

Bristol Myers, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, booked $11.48 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, up 1% from the same period last year. 

The company said it eked out revenue growth in large part due to higher sales of a group of new drugs, including anemia drug Reblozyl and advanced melanoma treatment Opdualag. That group raked in $1.07 billion in sales for the quarter, up 66% from the $645 million for the year-earlier period. 

Bristol Myers has faced pressure to launch new drugs as its blockbuster blood cancer treatment Revlimid – and eventually, other top-selling treatments such as blood thinner Eliquis and cancer immunotherapy Opdivo – competes with cheaper copycats. 

While Bristol Myers beat earnings expectations, its profit shrank from the prior year. The company reported net income of $1.76 billion, or 87 cents per share. That compares with a net income of $2.02 billion, or 95 cents per share, for the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings per share were $1.70 for the period.

Bristol Myers also issued its full-year 2024 forecast. While its revenue outlook was in line with Wall Street estimates, it anticipates higher-than-expected earnings for the year.

The company expects full-year adjusted earnings of $7.10 to $7.40 per share. Bristol Myers also forecast 2024 revenue would increase by the low single digits. 

The full-year guidance excludes the impact of any potential acquisitions, including the company’s planned buyouts of RayzeBio and Karuna Therapeutics, along with divestitures and other items, executives noted during an earnings call Friday.

Analysts surveyed by LSEG expect full-year adjusted earnings of $7 per share and sales growth of 1.9%. Some estimates may have included the impact from the planned acquisitions.

Bristol Myers said Eliquis and Opdivo also contributed to the slight sales growth in the fourth quarter. 

Eliquis took in $2.87 billion in sales for the quarter, up 7% from the year-ago period. Analysts had expected Eliquis to draw $2.85 billion in revenue, according to estimates compiled by FactSet.

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Eliquis, which Bristol Myers shares with Pfizer, is among the first 10 drugs selected to face price negotiations with the federal Medicare program. Those price talks heated up on Thursday after Medicare sent its initial price offers for each drug to manufacturers. 

Meanwhile, Opdivo generated $2.39 billion in revenue, which is up 8% from the fourth quarter of 2022. That’s slightly below the $2.44 billion analysts had expected, according to FactSet estimates. 

Eliquis, Opdivo and the company’s new drugs helped offset falling sales for Revlimid, which raked in $1.45 billion for the quarter. That’s down 36% from the same period a year ago. 

But that number is higher than the $1.33 billion that analysts had expected, according to FactSet estimates. 

Some new drugs, such as Reblozyl and Opdualag, blew past revenue estimates.

Reblozyl booked $320 million in sales for the quarter. Analysts had expected revenue of $273.7 million, according to FactSet.

Opdualag generated $190 in sales for the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected revenue of $187.4 million.

But the performance of other new drugs fell short of what Wall Street was expecting.

Abecma, which treats multiple myeloma, drew $100 million in sales for the quarter. Analysts had expected $106.6 million, according to FactSet.

Zeposia, a drug that treats adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, booked $133 million in sales. Analysts had expected it to generate $150 million in revenue.

Bristol Myers’ new drug sales “were mixed,” JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott wrote in a note Friday.


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