Healthcare Business

AbbVie Soars on Solid Earnings and Guidance

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company had $1.13 in earnings per share (EPS) on $5.94 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates had called for $1.08 in EPS on revenue of $5.89 billion. In the same period of the previous year, it posted EPS of $0.89 and $5.02 billion in revenue.

Sales growth in the third quarter was driven by the continued strength of Humira and other promoted products. Global Humira sales increased 19.6% on an operational basis, or 12.1% including the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

At the same time, Imbruvica sales were $304 million, with U.S. sales of $267 million and international profit sharing of $37 million for the quarter. Viekira sales also drove total company sales growth with $469 million in global sales.

Gross margin in the third quarter was 83.3%, with a gross margin expansion of 220 basis points that was driven by product mix, operating efficiencies and the impact of foreign exchange rates.

In terms of guidance, AbbVie raised its EPS expectations for the full year to $4.26 to $4.28, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.24.

Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and CEO of AbbVie, commented on earnings:

We are pleased with our outperformance in the third quarter and our progress year-to-date. We’ve driven strong commercial, operational and R&D execution, resulting in industry-leading top- and bottom-line performance. We are well-positioned to deliver robust EPS growth in 2015 and beyond, and we continue to make significant progress advancing our pipeline and other strategic actions that will help AbbVie achieve top-tier growth over the long term.

Shares of AbbVie closed Thursday up 1.6% at $54.10, with a consensus analyst price target of $74.07 and a 52-week trading range of $45.45 to $71.60. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were up nearly 5% at $56.74 in early trading indications on Friday.

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