Bristol-Myers Boosts Full-Year Forecast, Names CEO

Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb said Thursday its first-quarter earnings and revenue fell from the same quarter last year, due to a decline in global pharmaceutical sales, but the company raised its full-year profit outlook.

The company also said interim CEO James M. Cornelius has been elected permanent chief executive.

Bristol-Myers Squibb reported net earnings of $690 million, or 35 cents a share, for the first quarter, down from net profit of $714 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenues fell to $4.5 billion from $4.7 billion, in the year-ago period. Sales of cardiovascular drug Plavix fell 6% to $1.9 billion because of generic competition.

Excluding one-time items, Bristol-Myers said it earned 38 cents a share in the first quarter, up from 32 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of 23 cents a share on revenues of $4.28 billion.

For the full year, the company boosted its forecast for net income to $1.24 to $1.34 a share from $1.12 to $1.22 a share. Excluding one-time items, Bristol-Myers predicts a profit of $1.30 to $.140 a share, up from earlier guidance of $1.20 to $1.30 a share.