Also with us this morning, representatives from Deloitte & Touche: First, Cathy Engelbert, Jeff Black and Rob Poignant are all partners of our independent registered public accounting firm. We have in the audience a number of the company's other executives and officers who Mr. Andreotti will reintroduce later in the meeting.Sandy, do we have a quorum and this morning? Sandra Leung Yes. Jim, I'm pleased to report that a quorum is present, with over 85% of the company's common and preferred stock entitled to vote at this meeting represented here in person or by proxy. James M. Cornelius Thank you. Before we continue, I'll ask Sandy to make one other required legal statement. Sandy? Sandra Leung Yes. If, during this meeting, any statements are made concerning any projected financial or other forward-looking information, I refer you to the risk factor section of our most recent 10-K report. That document identifies important risk factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from historical or expected results. In addition, there may be discussion of financial measures that were not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP. Reconciliations of those non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures can be found on our website at www.bms.com. James M. Cornelius Thank you, Sandy. Now let me turn the meeting over to our Chief Executive Officer for the business presentation this morning. Lamberto? Lamberto Andreotti Good morning. Thank you, Jim. Thank you, everybody, for being here today. It this with great pride that I stand before you today to provide our Bristol-Myers Squibb annual report. As shareholders of this company, you have every reason to share the pride and to take comfort in the fact that you own a good, vibrant and successful company. One that is rooted in the firm commitment to innovation. One that is now widely viewed as an industry leader. Financially, we're solid; clinically, we are delivering; and commercially, we're strong. This is good news for our company. This is good news for the patients we serve. Granted, we continue to face many challenges, which are very real and significant. Some of them will intensify over the near-term. Most notably, with respect to the loss of exclusivity of PLAVIX and AVAPRO, as well as a host of global economic and active difficulties.
Thanks to our good efforts, despite all challenges, 2011 was a productive year for us, and we kept establishing a strong foundation for long-term growth. In 2011, executing our -- against our biopharma strategy, we increased sales, we expanded our portfolio, we moved forward with business development and we made significant clinical advance. We also took our corporate citizenship to a new exciting level. The recognition of our success in the financial world, the press and the scientific and medical community confirm the good work of our more than 27,000 Bristol-Myers Squibb employees.Our 2011 shareholder return was 39.5%, one of the best in the industry, reflecting both our results and our growth prospects. Our net sales increased by 9% to more than $21 billion. This was largely made possible by double-digit growth in several markets, as well as double-digit growth in some of our key products, namely: BARACLUDE, ORENCIA, SPRYCEL and ONGLYZA. We also launched 3 new products: YERVOY for metastatic melanoma; ELIQUIS for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events, VTE, after orthopedic surgery; and Nulojix, to prevent organ rejection after kidney transplant. Along with our continued success and focus on productivity, our sales results allowed us to deliver 6% growth in earnings per share, and we ended the year with over $11.6 billion in cash and marketable securities. We maintained a strong focus and discipline in capital allocation. This included another increase in our annual dividend and a continuation of our $3 billion share repurchase program. It also included an added emphasis on our 3 business development initiatives with, over the past year, has provided us with several exciting opportunities, ranging from relatively simple technology agreements to outright company acquisitions. Each adds growth to our company, potential products, great science and skilled people. Each represents a very important and significant component of our long-term vision. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com