After years of turmoil and controversy, ImClone Systems ( IMCL) looked a lot healthier on Feb. 12 when the Food and Drug Administration approved its drug Erbitux as a treatment for patients with advanced colorectal cancer. But if the FDA's second look at Erbitux represented another chance for ImClone, the drug will do much less for ImClone's partner, Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY). The giant drugmaker is still trying to dig out from several years of financial distress and stock-price trauma, only partly due to the two-year delay in securing Erbitux's FDA approval. Whatever Erbitux's benefit, Bristol-Myers Squibb will need a lot more good news to pull itself and its stock out of the doldrums -- and that's why Wall Street remains skeptical. "We estimate Erbitux's potential profit contribution to Bristol-Myers Squibb is immaterial," said David R. Risinger, of Merrill Lynch, in a note to investors just before the FDA approved the drug. He hasn't altered his view, predicting that Erbitux will produce $101 million in revenue this year, $208 million next year and $303 million in 2006. If those predictions are correct (some analysts believe Erbitux sales will be higher), Risinger said Bristol-Myers Squibb actually could lose money on Erbitux for the next three years, given the expenses of making and selling the drug, making milestone payments to ImClone and providing ImClone with a 39% royalty based on Erbitux sales in North America. Risinger said he didn't expect Erbitux to lift Bristol-Myers Squibb's stock. Since his report was issued four weeks ago, the stock is down about 14%. (He doesn't own shares; his firm is a market-maker in Bristol-Myers Squibb and plans to seek investment banking business with the company.) The company's stock has been skidding this week due to surprisingly bad news: a company-sponsored study of cholesterol drugs showed that patients taking Pfizer's ( PFE) Lipitor had a 16% lower likelihood of getting a heart attack, requiring heart procedures or dying than patients taking Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pravachol, the company's best-selling drug. Last month's Erbitux approval by the FDA didn't do much for other analysts covering Bristol-Myers Squibb, either. Within two weeks of the FDA's decision, for example, two investment banks cut their ratings on Bristol-Myers Squibb, whose stock has been bouncing between $20 and $32 for nearly two years. Just over three years ago, the stock was worth $70. The Pravachol-Lipitor news hasn't changed anyone's ratings yet, but several investment banks, including Oppenheimer and Credit Suisse First Boston, have trimmed their earnings per share and sales estimates for the next two years.