Why the Bristol-Myers Incredible Earnings Beat Is Getting Grounded

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When Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Thursday, the company said that it had $0.94 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.97 billion in revenue. That compares with consensus estimates of $0.85 in EPS and $5.99 billion in revenue, as well as the $0.68 per share and $5.45 billion posted in the fourth quarter of last year.

Separately, the firm announced that it has withdrawn its application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a combination of its blockbuster cancer immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy as an initial treatment for advanced lung cancer. The withdrawal raises new questions about the company’s overall strategy and approach in that type of cancer.

In terms of its prioritized brands, the firm reported:

  • Opdivo grew 33% year over year to $1.80 billion.
  • Eliquis increased 25% to $1.71 billion.
  • Yervoy increased 43% to $384 million.
  • Orencia grew by 10% to $731 million.
  • Sprycel grew by 2% to $536 million.

Looking ahead to the 2019 fiscal full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $4.10 to $4.20 with worldwide revenues increasing in the mid-single digits. Consensus estimates call for $4.14 in EPS and $24.2 billion in revenue for the year.

Giovanni Caforio, M.D., board chair and chief executive, commented:

I am proud of our results in 2018, which were based on superior commercial performance for our prioritized brands and important scientific advances that continue to diversify our R&D pipeline. We are beginning 2019 with good momentum in our current business, with Opdivo and Eliquis continuing as strong and growing franchises. Our planned acquisition of Celgene will position us to create a leading biopharma company, with best-in-class franchises, significant near-term launch opportunities and a deep and broad pipeline, creating an even stronger foundation for long-term sustainable growth.

Shares of Bristol-Myers Squib shares were relatively flat at $50.03 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $44.30 to $70.05. The consensus analyst price target is $58.00.