Bristol-Myers earnings beat expectations on strong drug sales

Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:41am EDT

(Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, fueled by strong sales of cancer and diabetes drugs, but stuck to its earlier full-year 2013 profit forecast.

The company said it earned $692 million, or 42 cents per share in the third quarter. That compared with a loss of $711 million, or 43 cents per share, in the year-earlier period when the company took a big charge for an experimental hepatitis C drug that showed disappointing results in clinical trials.

Excluding special items, Bristol-Myers earned 46 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected 44 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Global revenue rose 9 percent to $4.07 billion, topping Wall Street expectations of $3.99 billion.

The company reaffirmed it expects earnings for full-year 2013 of $1.70 to $1.78 per share, excluding special items. It earned $1.99 per share last year.

Diabetes drug Onglyza and a related drug called Kombiglyze had combined sales of $211 million, up 19 percent from the year-ago period. Sales of Orencia, for rheumatoid arthritis, rose 22 percent to $375 million.

Sales of leukemia drug Sprycel jumped 20 percent to $316 million, while sales of Yervoy - a new type of treatment for melanoma that works by spurring the immune system - soared 33 percent to $238 million.

Double-digit sales gains of such newer drugs helped offset plunging sales of blood clot preventer Plavix, and blood pressure medicine Avapro, which are both facing competition from cheaper generics.

The company's shares were little changed in premarket trading from Tuesday's closing price of $49.73 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)