UPDATE 1-Bristol-Myers beats forecasts, as newer drugs deliver
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co reported better than expected quarterly sales and earnings, fueled by strong sales of newer treatments for leukemia, melanoma and diabetes.
The U.S. drugmaker on Thursday said it earned $925 million, or 56 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $852 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Excluding special items, such as a $411 million tax benefit from the write-off of a failed hepatitis C drug, the company earned 47 cents per share. Analysts, on average, had forecast 43 cents per share.
Company revenue plunged 23 percent to $4.19 billion, following U.S. patent expirations last year on Bristol-Myers' Plavix blood clot preventer and its Avapro blood pressure treatment. Wall Street had expected $4.12 billion.
Bristol-Myers predicted 2013 earnings, excluding special items, of $1.78 per share to $1.88 per share. The consensus Wall Street forecast, of $1.83 per share, lies in the middle of that range.