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» Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
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Before we get started, let me take care of the legal requirement. During this call, we'll make statements about the company's future plans and prospects, that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor Provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. These documents are available from the SEC, the Bristol-Myers Squibb website or from BMS Investor Relations.In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our estimates change. With that, I'll turn it over to Lamberto. Lamberto Andreotti Well, thank you, John. Good morning, everyone. We have just completed a good quarter, which wraps up another successful year for the company despite the challenges associated with healthcare reform in the U.S. and economic pressures in Europe. In previous calls and meetings we, from Bristol-Myers Squibb, talked a lot than any other company of U.S. healthcare reform and European prices. I think that at this point, we should take these two factors for granted and move forward. Today, it is more important to describe how our achievements in 2010 have helped to position the company well for the longer-term growth. Specifically, 2010 was a groundbreaking year with respect to clinical data, a real testament to our biopharma strategy and our exclusive focus on pharmaceuticals. We presented overall survival data on ipilimumab in second-line metastatic melanoma. The AVERROES study was stopped early due to overwhelming efficacy. The attractive profile of dapagliflozin continues to emerge, and we shared encouraging data on our Hepatitis C portfolio.
We also made significant progress on our String of Pearls initiative. Most importantly, we acquired ZymoGenetics while we continue to integrate Medarex. We remain focused on increasing shareholder value. We increased our dividend for the second consecutive year. We initiated a share repurchase program of up to $3 billion in common stock. We bought back debt, and we still ended the year with $10 billion in cash.You may have also noticed that we restructured our foreign legal entities, and this resulted in more than 85% of our cash now being held in the United States. Charlie will talk more about that. With respect to manufacturing, we delivered on our optimization plan and continued to improve our costs. While we faced some challenges, we take very seriously the quality issues raised in the Manati warning letter and the voluntary AVALIDE recall. I personally have devoted a significant amount of time to ensure understanding of what happened, and that we take all necessary actions to remediate the issues [ph] also by assessment from third-party quality consulting experts. In fact, our plant in Manati is inspection-ready, and we're looking forward to our inspection. Let me turn to some highlights from the fourth quarter. We have good sales growth in some of our key brands, which are important to our future growth, including SPRYCEL, ORENCIA, BARACLUDE and the ONGLYZA franchise. We continue to have positive news on our pipeline. We received regulatory approval for SPRYCEL for use in a stress-line testing in the U.S. and Europe and for KOMBIGLYZE in the U.S. We completed key regulatory submissions. We submitted dapagliflozin for regulatory review in both the U.S. and Europe. The European Medicines Agency has already validated our submission there, and we are waiting acceptance of the submission in the U.S. In 2011, we will build on the momentum created in 2010, as we continue to position our company for long-term success as a focused, differentiated biopharma company. There are several upcoming key events that will help shape our future. The first milestone is regulatory action on our filing for ipilimumab, as well as first-line data, both expected during the first quarter. We are very excited about this product, and we are ready to launch it. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com