Bristol-Myers Posts Profit Rise

Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) delivered a penny beat for the quarter and nudged adjusted guidance up on Thursday but warned of material restructuring charges to come.

The New York-based drugmaker reported GAAP earnings of $848 million, or 43 cents a share, vs. $338 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Before items, the company earned $764 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $438 million, or 22 cents a share, in the 2006 period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected 37 cents a share on revenue of $5.02 billion.

Bristol said net sales increased 22% to $5.1 billion. The company said the increase reflects growth in key and newer products and the adverse impact of generic drug competition that hurt sales in the comparable 2006 quarter.

Sales of Plavix increased 99% to $1.25 billion and rose 128% in the U.S. Sales in the year-ago quarter suffered from generic competition.

Another sizable sales increase came from the company's Abilify for schizophrenia, acute bipolar mania and bipolar disorder, which rose 34% to $420 million. International sales increased 72% (including a 12% favorable foreign exchange impact) to $91 million. Bristol's revenue for Abilify consists of alliance revenue representing its 65% share of net sales in countries where it copromotes the drug with Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

Looking ahead, Bristol, lowered full-year 2007 guidance to between $1.28 and $1.33 a share from between $1.35 and $1.45 a share. The company said the change reflects a charge for in-process research and development related to its Adnexus acquisition. On a non-GAAP basis, it raised guidance to between $1.42 and $1.47 vs. a prior forecast of $1.35 to $1.45 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect $1.44 a share in 2007.

For 2008, Bristol reaffirmed earnings guidance between $1.60 and $1.70, excluding items.

The company said it expects over the next three years to incur material charges related to restructuring and comprehensive cost-reduction programs, including charges related to workforce and facilities cuts.

Bristol also said that based on its discussions with the Food and Drug Administration, it won't file a new-drug application for vinflunine as a treatment for bladder cancer.

Shares rose 83 cents, or 3%, to $29.25 Thursday.

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