Bristol-Myers Squibb's fourth-quarter sales jump 33% on Celgene purchase

Headline results for the fourth quarter:

Revenue

$7.9 billion (forecasts of $7.1 billion)

+33%

Loss

$1.1 billion

Versus profit of $1.2 billion

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

What the company said:

"By all measures, 2019 was a transformative year for Bristol-Myers Squibb as we progressed our strategy through the acquisition of Celgene," remarked CEO Giovanni Caforio. Bristol-Myers Squibb noted that its quarterly results include Celgene revenue beginning November 20, when the $74-billion acquisition was finalised.

Caforio added that "with an expanded portfolio of high-performing brands, eight potential commercial launch opportunities, a deep and broad early pipeline, and the financial flexibility to continue to invest in innovation, [we enter] 2020 uniquely positioned to…create long-term sustainable growth."

Meanwhile, Bristol-Myers Squibb attributed its quarterly loss to "costs and expenses resulting from purchase price accounting, contingent value right fair value adjustments and other acquisition and integration expenses."

Other results:

  • Eliquis: $2 billion, up 19%, slightly topping consensus estimates, with 27% growth in US demand  
  • Opdivo: $1.8 billion, down 2%, in line with forecasts
  • Revlimid: $1.3 billion, up 10%, driven by increased triplet sales and longer duration of treatment
  • Orencia: $792 million, up 8%
  • Sprycel: $549 million, up 2%
  • Yervoy: $385 million, unchanged versus the prior year
  • Pomalyst/Imnovid: $322 million, up 23%, boosted by greater demand and duration of therapy
  • Empliciti: $94 million, up 36%
  • Full-year revenue: $26.1 billion, up 16%
  • Full-year profit: $3.5 billion, down from $4.9 billion in the prior year

Looking ahead:

Bristol-Myers Squibb expects earnings per share for 2020 in the range of $6.00 to $6.20, with revenue between $40.5 billion and $42.5 billion. Analysts predict earnings of $6.16 per share on revenue of $42.2 billion. In addition, the company forecasts 2021 earnings per share in the range of $7.15 to $7.45, with analysts estimating $7.41 per share.

Caforio indicated that one of the growth opportunities for Opdivo, whose sales came in far lower than the $3.1 billion generated by Merck & Co.'s Keytruda during the quarter, is in first-line lung cancer, which he believes can "become a driver of growth beginning in 2021." The executive noted that "beyond first-line lung cancer, there is a very large programme for Opdivo, with a number of studies that have the potential to read out this year."

Caforio also noted that the CAR-T therapy field is "one where we feel coming second or third may actually be a positive in terms of having been able to learn from the experience of early entrants." He said Bristol-Myers Squibb has "strong capabilities" from Juno Therapeutics, acquired via the Celgene takeover, and "we are investing the right resources in order to be able to have not only the right processes, but also the right [manufacturing] capacity with CAR-T."

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