Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ predictions and raised its forecast for the year, as sales of key treatments like the cancer drug Opdivo and the blood thinner Eliquis rose.

Profit excluding some items was 74 cents a share, the New York-based drugmaker said in a statement Thursday, topping the 65-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The drugmaker also increased its forecast for 2016 profit and revenue, saying earnings excluding one-time items will be $2.50 to $2.60 a share and revenue will increase in the low double-digit range. The company had previously said adjusted earnings would be in a range of $2.30 to $2.40 a share and sales would increase in the mid-single-digit range.

Bristol-Myers has pegged its future on cancer immunotherapies like Opdivo and another drug, Yervoy, which are being studied in a wide range of cancers. They carry high prices and in some cases represent significant advances in care.

Key financial metrics for the quarter:

  • Sales of Eliquis, the company’s top drug, were $734 million; analysts estimated $653 million
  • Opdivo sales were $704 million; analysts estimated $617 million 
  • Hepatitis C drug sales were $427 million; Gilead Sciences Inc. has dominated the crowded market
  • Revenue rose 8.7 percent to $4.39 billion; analysts estimated $4.27 billion
  • Net income of $1.2 billion, or 72 cents a share, compared with $1.19 billion, or 71 cents, a year ago
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE