Bristol-Myers Squibb Earnings, Trial Results Not Enough to Please Investors

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results before markets opened Monday. For the quarter, the drug maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.68 on revenues of $5.45 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS $0.63 on revenues of $5.24 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.67 and $5.35 billion in revenues.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted EPS of $3.01 per share and revenues of $20.78 billion, which compares to EPS of $2.83 a year ago on revenues of $19.43 billion. Analysts had been looking for EPS of $3.00 and revenues of $20.67 billion.

Bristol-Myers also announced this morning a successful CheckMate-227 Phase 3 trial of its Opdivo-Yervoy combination non-small cell lung cancer treatment. That announcement was likely more responsible for the company’s share-price bump in Monday’s premarket than were the quarterly and full-year results. Enthusiasm has waned, however, during the regular trading session.

The company’s effective tax rate increased to 434% in the quarter from 17% in the fourth quarter last year primarily due to a one-time $2.9 billion charge resulting from U.S. tax law changes.

CEO Giovanni Caforio said:

[W]e believe the exciting results from CheckMate -227 that we announced today are a meaningful step forward for patients with lung cancer. As we begin 2018, I am confident that we are well positioned for long-term growth through our strong commercial and R&D capabilities in bringing transformational medicines to patients with serious diseases.

Bristol-Myers Squibb guided GAAP full-year 2018 EPS to $3.00 to $3.15 and non-GAAP EPS to $3.15 to $3.30. The company expects revenues to rise in the low- to mid-single digits and gross margin to come in at around 70%. The estimated effective tax rate for the year is 20% to 21%.

Analysts had estimated first-quarter revenues at $5.09 billion and EPS of $0.81. For the full year, analysts are expecting EPS of $3.23 and revenues of $21.38 billion.

The stock traded down about 0.4% at $63.28 about an hour after Monday’s opening bell. The 52-week trading range is $50.56 to $66.10, and the 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $64.55.