AbbVie lifts full-year earnings guidance as Humira sales fall less than expected in Q2

Headline results for the second quarter:

Revenue

$8.3 billion (forecasts of $8.1 billion)

-0.3%

Profit

$741 million

Versus $2 billion

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"We continue to see strong momentum in our business, as we delivered revenue and adjusted [earnings per share] ahead of our expectations for the quarter and announced plans to acquire Allergan," remarked CEO Richard Gonzalez. Last month, AbbVie reached an agreement to purchase Allergan in a deal valued at $63 billion (for related analysis, see ViewPoints: AbbVie bets big on Botox's staying power, and ViewPoints: AbbVie/Allergan - a deal built on Botox and inevitability).

AbbVie attributed its decline in quarterly profit to a charge of $2.3 billion related to future milestones and royalty payments associated with Skyrizi. The drugmaker won regulatory approval for Skyrizi, which is partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim, for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in the US in April.

The company said Friday that it does not expect the US Federal Trade Commission to require divestiture of Skyrizi in connection with the pending Allergan deal, adding that the drug is forecast to generate sales of about $250 million this year.

Gonzalez added "based on our strong performance year-to-date and our confidence in the outlook for the second half, we are raising our...guidance for 2019."

Other results:

  • Humira: $4.9 billion, -6.1%, but above analyst forecasts of $4.8 billion as international sales fell 35.2% to $1.1 billion due to biosimilar competition; US sales rose 7.7% to $3.8 billion
  • Haematologic oncology products: $1.3 billion, +38.7%
    • Imbruvica: $1.1 billion, +29.3%, in line with expectations, with sales in the US of $886 million
    • Venclexta: $169 million
  • Hepatitis C product sales: $784 million, -19.4%, falling 6.2% in the US to $396 million and dropping 29.5% internationally to $388 million
    • Mavyret: $780 million, -16.3%
  •  Skyrizi: $48 million

Looking ahead:

AbbVie now expects earnings per share in 2019 of between $8.82 and $8.92, which it noted represents growth of 12.1% at the midpoint of the range, lifted from an earlier estimate of $8.73 to $8.83. Analysts predict annual earnings of $8.82 per share, on sales of $32.8 billion.

​Pipeline update:
 
The company disclosed that it recently halted a Phase II study of ​ABBV-8E12 in progressive supranuclear palsy after a futility analysis showed that the anti-tau antibody did not demonstrate the expected efficacy. AbbVie noted that it will continue a mid-stage trial of ​ABBV-8E12 in Alzheimer's disease.

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