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Bristol-Myers quarterly profit beats forecasts

Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D headquarters.
John Greim | LightRocket | Getty Images

Bristol-Myers Squibb reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by surprisingly strong sales of its hepatitis C drugs and its Eliquis blood clot preventer.

The U.S. drugmaker on Tuesday said it earned $13 million, or 1 cent per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $726 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, including an after-tax charge of 28 cents per share resulting from the transfer of U.S. pension obligations, Bristol-Myers earned 46 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 41 cents.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $4.26 billion, coming in above Wall Street expectations of $4.03 billion. Sales would have fallen only 1 percent if not for the stronger dollar, which reduces the value of sales abroad.