Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated
"It was a really strong quarter despite the challenging COVID-19 environment," commented Bristol Myers Squibb's chief financial officer David Elkins, noting that the pandemic mostly impacted products administered in medical centres, whereas treatments that could be taken at home remained resilient. Excluding COVID-19 related buying patterns in the prior-year period, the company said first-quarter revenues grew 8%.
Elkins suggested that the sales mix, particularly the outperformance in Eliquis versus higher margin Revlimid, which Bristol Myers Squibb gained through the takeover of Celgene in late 2019, accounted for most of the gap between the quarterly results and analysts' expectations.
Bristol Myers Squibb reaffirmed its 2021 profit forecast of $7.35 to $7.55 per share, with worldwide revenues increasing at a high-single-digit percentage rate. Meanwhile, Elkins believes Eliquis will continue its growth trend, while Opdivo is expected to return to growth in the second half due to anticipated approvals in new tumour types and its increasing use as a first-line treatment for advanced lung cancer.
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