Bristol-Myers 3Q Profit Rises 2 Pct. As Sales Jump

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on Thursday reported a 2 percent increase in its third-quarter profit, as higher sales of several key medicines were mostly offset by higher taxes and increased spending on research and marketing.

Bristol-Myers, which sells blockbuster blood thinner Plavix and psychiatric drug Abilify, said net income was $969 million, or 56 cents per share. That's up from $949 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding an after-tax charge of $75 million for one-time items, adjusted net income was $1 billion, or 61 cents per share, topping the 58 cents a share expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. Analysts typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $5.35 billion, just above the $5.29 billion analysts were expecting.

New York-based Bristol-Myers raised the low end of its profit forecast by a nickel, to $2.13 to $2.18 per share, excluding items.

"Our solid financial results, key R&D data and multiple business development transactions together demonstrate our ability to execute our short-term plans while at the same time laying a solid foundation for our future," CEO Lambertville Andreotti said in a statement.

The company noted in September that it completed its acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals, which is developing drugs to treat the fatal lung disease pulmonary fibrosis and other disorders. Also in the quarter, Bristol made deals with three other companies to develop and sell new drugs for cancer, diabetes and other diseases. And on Wednesday, it announced a licensing deal to develop a once-a-day HIV combination pill containing its popular Reyataz and an experimental drug in testing by Gilead Sciences Inc.

Sales were led by Plavix, the world's second-best-selling drug, which jumped 8 percent to $1.79 billion. Abilify, for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, saw sales climbed 14 percent to $691 million. HIV drugs Reyataz and Sustiva both increased about 5 percent, to $391 million and $359 million, respectively.

But sales of blood pressure drugs Avapro and Avalide fell 29 percent, to $216 million, because of three problems. They got generic competition in Canada, a rival's similar drug got generic competition in many countries and one of the three dosage forms has been off the market since a recall late last year.

Bristol-Myers and partner Sanofi SA share revenue from Plavix, Avapro and Avalide. All three drugs get U.S. generic competition next spring, which will sharply cut into Bristol's revenue.

Bristol's income taxes jumped 52 percent, to $475 million.

Spending on marketing, sales and administration jumped 14 percent, to $1 billion, partly because of costs to launch new products, including malignant melanoma drug Yervoy. Research and development costs increased 18 percent, to $973 million, mostly because of expensive late-stage human testing of experimental drugs.

Posted: October 2011


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