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Bristol-Myers (BMY) Tops Q1 Earnings, Updates 2016 View

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s BMY first-quarter 2016 earnings (excluding special items) of 74 cents per share easily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents. Earnings were also up 4% year over year.

Total revenues of $4.4 billion were also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.2 billion. Revenues also escalated 9% year over year. Strong product sales boosted the top line in the reported quarter.

Quarter in Detail

While sales in the U.S. markets increased 24% to $2.5 billion, international revenues were down 7%. Foreign exchange translations impacted revenues negatively. Excluding the impact of currency translations, international revenues were still down 2%.

Leukemia drug, Sprycel, registered sales of $407 million, up 9%. Melanoma drug, Yervoy, contributed $263 million to total revenue during the reported quarter, down 19%.

Opdivo, approved for multiple oncology indications (including melanoma and lung cancer), generated revenues of $704 million, significantly higher than $475 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Recently launched multiple myeloma drug, Empliciti, brought in sales of $28 million in the reported quarter.

The performance of key drugs in the Virology unit was disappointing. Sales of Baraclude declined 14% to $291 million. Both Reyataz and Sustiva franchises also dropped 25% and 6% to $221 million and $273 million, respectively.

Sales of Eliquis were $734 million during the reported quarter, up 21.9% sequentially. Bristol-Myers has a partnership with Pfizer Inc. PFE for Eliquis.

The hepatitis C virus franchise at Bristol-Myers contributed $427 million to the company’s top line in the quarter, down 6.8% sequentially. Orencia revenues were up 19% to 475 million.

Adjusted research and development (R&D) expenses in the quarter increased 16.9% to $998 million while marketing, selling and administrative expenses rose 3.9% to $1.1 billion.

2016 Outlook Updated

Bristol-Myers raised its earnings guidance for 2016. The company now expects earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.60 per share (old guidance: $2.30 to $2.40 per share). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is $2.42 per share.

However, the company now expects worldwide revenues to increase in the low double-digit range. Previously, the company had guided worldwide revenues to increase in the mid single-digit range.

While R&D expenses are now expected to increase in the low double-digit range, marketing, sales and administrative expenses are anticipated to decrease in the low single-digit range.

Previously, the company had anticipated R&D expenses to increase in the high single-digit range and marketing, sales and administrative expenses to decrease in the mid single-digit range.

Our Take

Bristol-Myers posted encouraging first-quarter results with the company beating both top- and bottom-line estimates. Strong sales of drugs like Opdivo, Orencia, Eliquis and Sprycel in the reported quarter drove top-line growth. The company’s raised earnings guidance for 2016 also looks encouraging. Meanwhile, we are positive on Bristol-Myers’ efforts to develop its pipeline.

We expect investor focus to remain on updates regarding the company’s high-profile immuno-oncology drug Opdivo, going forward.

Bristol-Myers carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A couple of favorably ranked stocks in the health care sector are Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. EBS, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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