Bristol Myers Squibb, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter. The company’s portfolio of new drugs drove strong sales growth, contributing to its impressive performance.

Bristol Myers Squibb exceeded Wall Street’s expectations for both earnings per share and revenue. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.70, surpassing the expected $1.53. Moreover, its revenue for the fourth quarter reached $11.48 billion, beating the estimated $11.19 billion.

The revenue growth can be attributed to the higher sales of the company’s new drugs, which performed exceptionally well. Notably, Bristol Myers Squibb witnessed a significant increase in sales of the anemia drug Reblozyl and the advanced melanoma treatment Opdualag. This group of new drugs generated $1.07 billion in sales, representing a remarkable 66% increase compared to the previous year.

Bristol Myers Squibb has been under pressure to introduce new drugs as some of its blockbuster treatments face competition from cheaper generic alternatives. The company’s blood cancer treatment Revlimid, along with other top-selling drugs like blood thinner Eliquis and cancer immunotherapy Opdivo, is expected to see sales decline as generic competitors enter the market.

Although Bristol Myers Squibb surpassed earnings expectations, its profit margin contracted compared to the previous year. The company reported a net income of $1.76 billion, or 87 cents per share, compared to $2.02 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the same period last year. However, after adjusting for certain items, the company’s earnings per share for the quarter stood at $1.70.

Bristol Myers Squibb provided its full-year 2024 forecast, which indicates a positive outlook. While the company’s revenue projection aligns with Wall Street estimates, it anticipates higher-than-expected earnings. Bristol Myers Squibb expects its full-year adjusted earnings to range from $7.10 to $7.40 per share. Additionally, the company foresees single-digit revenue growth in 2024.

Analysts surveyed by LSEG have predicted full-year adjusted earnings of $7 per share and anticipate sales growth of 1.9%. They believe that Bristol Myers Squibb’s blood thinner Eliquis and cancer immunotherapy Opdivo played a role in the slight sales growth experienced in the fourth quarter. Eliquis generated $2.87 billion in sales, surpassing analysts’ expectations. Opdivo, on the other hand, brought in $2.39 billion in revenue, slightly below estimates.

While Eliquis performed well, it faces challenges in the market due to price negotiations with the federal Medicare program. Eliquis, which Bristol Myers Squibb shares with Pfizer, is among the first ten drugs selected for price negotiations. Recently, Medicare sent its initial price offers for each drug to the manufacturers, sparking heated discussions.

Despite the decline in sales for Revlimid, Bristol Myers Squibb managed to achieve better results than expected. Revlimid brought in $1.45 billion in the fourth quarter, a significant drop of 36% compared to the same period the previous year. However, this figure exceeded analysts’ expectations of $1.33 billion.

Bristol Myers Squibb’s strong performance in the fourth quarter, with earnings and revenue surpassing expectations, demonstrates the success of its new drugs. Despite the challenges posed by the market and declining sales of some key products, the company’s portfolio diversification has helped offset these setbacks. As Bristol Myers Squibb looks ahead to 2024, it remains optimistic about its potential for growth in both earnings and revenue.


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