By Ransdell Pierson
July 25 U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
cut its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts and
posted disappointing sales of its new drug to prevent blood
clots and its once-weekly Bydureon diabetes drug.
Eliquis, the blood clot drug, eked out second-quarter global
sales of $12 million, the company said on Thursday, following
highly disappointing U.S. sales of $17 million in the first
quarter. Investors have counted on the drug to be one of the
company's biggest engines of sales growth.
"Today's emphasis will likely be on disappointing Eliquis
and Bydureon sales," Leerink Swann analyst Seamus Fernandez
said, adding they suggested "challenges" for Bristol-Myers and
partners that sell the drugs to primary care doctors.
Bydureon, acquired through Bristol's recent purchase of
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, posted quarterly sales of $66 million,
almost $50 million below Fernandez's forecast. He said the
injectable drug is facing tough competition from Novo Nordisk's
Victoza, and warned new rivals will emerge in the
next few years.
Eliquis, which Bristol-Myers sells in partnership with
Pfizer Inc, was approved by U.S. regulators in late
December to prevent strokes among patients with atrial
fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat most common among the
Studies have suggested Eliquis is the best among a crop of
new oral medicines meant to replace warfarin, the standard oral
stroke-prevention treatment for a half century that has dietary
restrictions and requires frequent blood tests to avert
potentially dangerous bleeding.
"The Eliquis numbers will trigger quite a few downgrades of
Bristol-Myers" by Wall Street analysts, Atlantic Equities
analyst Richard Purkiss predicted.
Purkiss said Bristol-Myers and Pfizer apparently failed to
recognize how much investment was needed to promote Eliquis. It
competes with Xarelto, from Bayer AG and Johnson &
Johnson and approved in November 2011.
It also competes with Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa, a new
anti-clot pill that works through a different mechanism. Pradaxa
posted sales of $1.43 billion in 2012, its second year on the
LOW TAX RATE HELPS
Bristol-Myers said it earned $536 million, or 32 cents per
share, in the second quarter. That compared with $645 million,
or 38 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Excluding special items, including combined charges of $274
million for restructuring and pension settlements, Bristol-Myers
earned 44 cents per share, matching analysts' estimates in a
poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Fernandez said a lower-than-expected tax rate was the
primary reason the "low quality" second-quarter results met Wall
Global revenue fell 9 percent to $4.05 billion, in line with
Wall Street targets. The decline was fueled by generic
competition for its Plavix blood clot preventer and Avapro blood
The company trimmed its full-year 2013 profit forecast to
between $1.70 and $1.78 per share from its earlier view of $1.78
Bristol-Myers also lowered it full-year sales forecast to
between $16 billion and $16.5 billion from its prior view of
$16.2 to $17.2 billion.
The stock rose 0.7 percent to $44.92 on mid-morning trade.