• 2016 EPS forecast range of $2.30 to $2.40 above predictions
  • Sales of Opdivo, Eliquis topped estimates last quarter

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimated and gave a 2016 profit forecast that’s also above predictions, driven by sales key cancer drug Opdivo and blood thinner Eliquis.

Earnings were 38 cents a share, excluding some items, the New York-based drugmaker said in a statement Thursday, topping the 29-cents average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Bristol-Myers is benefiting from its focus on oncology, after introducing high-priced therapies like Yervoy and Opdivo, which harness the body’s immune system to fight the disease. These drugs, approved for a variety of cancers, represent significant improvements in care for some types of the disease. They also come with six-figure price tags.

The Increasing Importance of Oncology

  • Quarterly net loss of $138 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with net income of $13 million, or 1 cent, a year earlier
  • Sales rose 0.7 percent to $4.29 billion. Analysts anticipated $4.15 billion.
  • 2016 adjusted earnings forecast of $2.30 to $2.40 a share. Analysts predicted $2.29, based on 23 estimates

The company also reported sales that topped predictions, driven by key drugs in cancer and cardiology:

  • Opdivo’s sales of $475 million, versus estimate of $440.7 million
  • Blood-thinner Eliquis at $602 million, versus estimate of $535.3 million
  • Hepatitis C franchise at $458 million, versus estimate of $363.7 million
  • Yervoy’s sales were in line at $265 million.
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