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Celgene plunges 18% after biotech company slashes 2020 guidance; worst drop in 17 years

  • Celgene reduces its 2020 sales guidance to range of $19 billion to $20 billion from its previous forecast of more than $21 billion.
  • "In consideration of certain market dynamics and recent pipeline events, we are updating our 2020 outlook," Celgene CEO Mark Alles said.
Mark Alles
Heidi Gutman | CNBC
Mark Alles

Investors are panicking over Celgene's new long term sales guidance.

The shares of the biotech company opened down 18 percent Thursday after it reduced 2020 sales guidance to range of $19 billion to $20 billion from its previous forecast of more than $21 billion. Celgene also lowered its 2020 earnings-per-share guidance to more than $12.50 from more than $13.00. The percentage drop in the shares is the largest in 17 years.

"In consideration of certain market dynamics and recent pipeline events, we are updating our 2020 outlook, and remain confident in our ability to deliver industry leading growth," Celgene CEO Mark Alles said in a company press release Thursday.

"Over the coming months, we look forward to sharing data supporting our innovative, next generation pipeline products and significant growth drivers."

The company's new long term guidance outweighed its better than expected third-quarter earnings results.

"Celgene just reported 3Q17 results. Quarter doesn't matter here (Revlimid ok, decent miss on Otezla, total revenue missed on Otezla, but EPS beat by 3 pennies from cost control)," Mizuho analyst Salim Syed wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "The most important thing in the press release is that CELG has now taken down its 2020 guidance."

It has been a difficult month for the biotech company. Celgene announced on Oct. 19 it would not initiate a phase 3 trial for a Crohn's disease drug, spurring a 11 percent share drop the next day.

Celgene shares have rallied 3 percent year-to-date through Wednesday compared to the S&P 500's 14 percent gain.

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