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Bristol-Myers Beats Q3 Earnings Forecast, Lifts 2020 Outlook As Celgene Boosts Revenues

Bristol-Myers boosted its 2020 profit outlook after a solid third quarter that included a 75% surge in group revenues following last year's $74 billion takeover of Celgene.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.  (BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, and lifted its full-year profit forecast, as rising drug sales boosted the group's topline growth. 

Bristol-Myers said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in September came in at $1.63 each, up 39.3% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.49 per share. Group revenues, Bristol-Myers said, rose 75.4% to $10.54 billion as the impact of last year's $74 billion acquisition of Celgene added to topline gains.

Looking into the final months of the year, Bristol-Myers said it sees non-GAAP earnings of $6.25 to $6.35 per share, up from a prior forecast of $6.10 to $6.25 per share, and revenues in the range of $41.5 billion to $42 billion, a modest increase from the lower end of its previous forecast.

“I am proud of the significant achievements of our new company over the past year, and the strong foundation we have created for near- and long-term growth” said CEO Giovanni Caforio. “Our financial strength and flexibility combined with our robust inline businesses, multiple launches and progress in our deep pipeline, including the promising results from the deucravacitinib trial, strongly position the company to deliver our mission and help more patients." 

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"The strength of our third quarter performance is a testament to the commitment of our people who continue to innovate and deliver novel medicines for patients with serious disease,” he added.

Bristol-Myers shares were marked 2% lower in  early trading Thursday following the earnings release to change hands at $64.16 each, extending the stock's six-month gain to around 7%.

Worldwide sales of its blood clot treatment, Eliquis, rose 9% to $2.1 billion, offsetting a slide in revenues for Opdivo, the group's blockbuster cancer treatment, which fell 2% to $1.78 billion. 

Last month, Bristol-Myers shares were lifted by positive late-stage data from a key lung cancer treatment study that showed patients responding to treatments of chemotherapy and Opdivo, the group's blockbuster drug, when compared to patients who only received chemotherapy. 

That was followed by another promising study psoriasis treatment, known as deucravacitinib, which could ultimately challenge Novartis AG's Cosentyx.