Bristol-Myers Squibb Earnings Beat Estimates

Bristol-Myers Squibb PlavixBristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Thursday, driven in part by higher sales for some of its virology blood-thinner drugs, cost controls and a favorable tax rate.

Bristol said it earned $1.27 billion, or 53 cents per share, from continuing operations, compared with $1.17 billion, or 44 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Net earnings were $927 million, or 53 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $983 million, or 49 cents a share, for the same period in 2009. Excluding special items, the drugmaker earned 54 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny.

The company said its quarterly sales rose 2% to $4.77 billion from $4.67 billion, but that's below analyst expectations for sales of $4.86 billion.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's global sales growth in the second quarter was led by the company's virology franchise and by blood-clot treatment, Plavix. Sales of chronic hepatitis B drug Baraclude rose 25%; HIV treatments Reyataz and Sustiva sales rose 8% and 6%, respectively. Plavix sales grew 6% to $1.63 billion. Also, second-quarter sales of rheumatoid arthritis medicine Orencia and cancer treatment Sprycel grew 20% and 23%, respectively compared to the same period in 2009.

However, sales of anti-psychotic drug Abilify declined 2% to $633 million, while the much-anticipated diabetes drug Onglyza had initial sales of just $28 million in the quarter.

"I am pleased with the progress we are making with our pipeline as it is one of the most important drivers of the long-term success of our strategy," said CEO Lamberto Andreotti. "We delivered both sales and EPS growth in the quarter, and presented encouraging clinical data from across our portfolio of products."

The company reaffirmed its adjusted profit forecast of $2.10 to $2.20 a share for the year. Analysts, on average, estimate the company will earn $2.15 a share for the year, according to FactSet. Bristol-Myers Squibb also reaffirmed its minimum adjusted EPS guidance of $1.95 for 2013.

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