Wires

Bristol-Myers earnings rise due to Celgene deal

Michael Erman

NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Thursday its operating profit rose by around a third from a year ago because fourth-quarter results included some revenue from Celgene, which the U.S. drugmaker bought in a $74 billion deal that closed in late November.

Bristol-Myers said on an operating basis it earned $1.22 a share on $7.95 billion of revenue in the quarter. The results included Celgene revenue beginning Nov. 20. Analyst estimates for the quarter, however, did not include those sales.

Bristol posted a net loss in the quarter of $1.06 billion, or 55 cents a share. It said results were hurt by one time items, including an accounting adjustment on its inventory and the amortization of some intangible assets it acquired in the quarter.

The company forecast 2020 earnings of $6 to $6.20 per share on revenue of $40.5 billion to $42.5 billion. That compares with average analyst estimates of $6.16 per share on revenue of $42.2 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Sales of the blood thinner Eliquis, which Bristol shares with Pfizer Inc were $2.03 billion in the quarter, slightly topping Wall Street estimates.

Sales of blockbuster cancer treatment Opdivo were $1.76 billion in the quarter, down slightly from the previous quarter and a year earlier, and well below the $3.1 billion in fourth-quarter sales for rival drug Keytruda that Merck & Co reported on Wednesday.

Before the Celgene deal, the drug was viewed as the company's most important growth driver. But Opdivo sales have hovered around $1.8 billion a quarter for more than a year and are expected to fall this year.

There has been widespread investor concern over the dominance of Keytruda, which has become the go to treatment for newly diagnosed advanced lung cancer, the most lucrative oncology market.

Last week, Bristol pulled the application to have its immunotherapy combination of Opdivo and Yervoy approved in Europe as an initial, or first-line, treatment for advanced lung cancer, after regulators there balked at changes to the design of its clinical trials.

Bristol-Myers shares closed at $65.59 on Wednesday. They are up nearly 30% over the last year.

(Reporting by Michael Erman Editing by Bill Berkrot)