BMS posts 10% rise in third-quarter sales, as Opdivo maintains recovery

Headline results for the third quarter:

  • Revenue: $11.6 billion (in line with forecasts), up 10%
  • Profit: $1.5 billion, versus $1.9 billion in the prior year

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

What the company said:

"Our strong results reflect increased adoption of our new product portfolio and continued demand growth across all four core therapeutic areas," remarked CEO Giovanni Caforio. Bristol Myers Squibb said sales were led by Revlimid, Eliquis and Opdivo, with the immunotherapy continuing to rebound following a dip in the first quarter.

Chief commercialisation officer Chris Boerner noted "we're seeing good recovery from COVID really across all of our markets." Boerner added that "in immuno-oncology, we've seen a gradual recovery in patient volume. We're still about 5% to 10% below where we were pre-COVID, but the trend is moving in the right direction."

Bristol Myers Squibb also said the quarter included an in-process R&D impairment charge of $610 million, sending research expenses up 30% year-over-year to $3.3 billion. 

Other results: 

  • Revlimid: $3.3 billion, up 11%
  • Eliquis: $2.4 billion, up 15%
  • Opdivo: $1.9 billion, up 7%
  • Orencia: $870 million, up 5%
  • Pomalyst/Imnovid: $851 million, up 10%
  • Sprycel: $551 million, up 1%
  • Yervoy: $515 million, up 15%
  • Abraxane: $266 million, down 22%
  • Reblozyl: $160 million, up 67%
  • Empliciti: $82 million, down 15%
  • Abecma: $71 million, following the CAR-T cell therapy's approvals in the US and in Europe earlier this year for multiple myeloma
  • Zeposia: $40 million, versus $2 million in the prior year
  • Breyanzi: $30 million, with the CAR-T cell therapy having won US approval in February to treat large B-cell lymphoma
  • Onureg: $21 million, versus $3 million in the prior year

Looking ahead:

Bristol Myers Squibb reaffirmed that it expects revenues to increase at a high-single-digit percentage rate in 2021. Meanwhile, the company lifted the lower end of its earnings guidance by $0.05, and now expects to earn between $7.40 per share and $7.55 per share.

Chief financial officer David Elkins indicated that the drugmaker is continuing to look at expanding its pipeline through deals, primarily focused on smaller, early-stage companies in areas such as cancer, immunology and cardiovascular health. Last week, sources suggested that Bristol Myers Squibb recently approached Aurinia Pharmaceuticals about a potential takeover.

What analysts said:

Ashtyn Evans of Edward Jones called the quarter "solid," highlighting substantial increases for Reblozyl and Abecma. However, the analyst said "despite the strong results and continued progress in the company's new drug pipeline, we continue to believe that sales growth...will be challenging once the patent protection for Revlimid expires next year."

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