AbbVie again boosts earnings outlook as Q2 sales climb nearly 34%

Headline results for the second quarter:

  • Revenue: $14 billion (forecasts of $13.6 billion), up 33.9%
  • Profit: $766 million, versus a loss of $738 million in the prior year

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

What the company said:

"AbbVie delivered another strong quarter and our business continues to perform extremely well across the portfolio, with [our] new immunology assets [Skyrizi and Rinvoq] contributing more than $1 billion of combined sales in the quarter," commented CEO Richard Gonzalez. Meanwhile, he noted that the Allergan integration "continues to track exceptionally well, with both the neuroscience and aesthetics portfolios delivering double-digit sequential growth."

Gonzalez indicated that increased investment in Botox and other aesthetic products is helping boost demand. "About two-thirds of the performance, I think, is fundamental demand and maybe one-third of it is pent-up demand," the executive said.

Other results:

  • Immunology: $6.1 billion, up 15.1%
    • Humira: $5.1 billion, up 4.8%, with sales up 7.1% to $4.3 billion in the US, but falling 6% internationally to $811 million due to biosimilar competition
    • Skyrizi: $674 million, up >100%
    • Rinvoq: $378 million, up >100%
  • Haematologic oncology: $1.8 billion, up 14.1%
    • Imbruvica: $1.4 billion, up 7.2%
    • Venclexta: $435 million, up 43.2%
  • Neuroscience: $1.5 billion, up 29.6% on a comparable operational basis
    • Botox therapeutic: $603 million, up 38.6% on a comparable operational basis
    • Vraylar: $432 million, up 25.8% on a comparable operational basis
    • Ubrelvy: $126 million, up >100%
  • Aesthetics: $1.4 billion, up >100%
    • Botox cosmetic: $584 million, up >100%, beating estimates of $483 million, as COVID-19 vaccinations encouraged people to resume non-essential procedures
  • Eye care: $919 million, up 24.1% on a comparable operational basis
    • Restasis: $327 million, up 24.6% on a comparable operational basis
  • Mavyret: $442 million, up 17.2%

Looking ahead:

AbbVie stated it is raising its adjusted earnings for the full-year to $12.52 to $12.62 per share, from a previous outlook of between $12.37 to $12.57 per share. Analysts are projecting earnings of $12.61 per share on sales of $55.9 billion for the year.

What analysts said:

Mizuho analyst Vamil Divan suggested the strong quarter was mainly driven by multiple Allergan products, while sales of core AbbVie assets came in fairly close to expectations.

Pipeline updates:

AbbVie suggested that the recent US accelerated approval of Biogen and Eisai's Alzheimer's disease drug Aduhelm (aducanumab) had increased interest in treatments that clear beta amyloid plaques in the brain. As such, AbbVie said that it expects to start testing a drug that works in the same way by the end of 2021 or early next year.

"I think if one looks at all the data, it's quite clear that if you can remove [beta amyloid] plaque rapidly then there will be a benefit," commented AbbVie president Michael Severino. However, the company indicated that it has halted work on ABBV-8E12, an anti-tau antibody that was in Phase II development for Alzheimer's disease.

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