Several big pharmaceutical companies have suffered from a thinning pipeline of new drugs and the burden of non-medicine related divisions. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) isn’t one of them, making its stock an attractive potential investment.
Consider that sales for nine of the company’s top 10 drugs beat estimates in the second quarter. One of the stellar performers was Yervoy, Bristol-Myers’ new melanoma (skin cancer) drug, which racked up sales of $95 million in the quarter. That drug could ultimately generate revenue of up to $6 billion a year, analysts say, as it’s the first approved treatment to help people suffering from advanced melanoma.
Yervoy is very important for the company because its blockbuster blood thinner Plavix loses patent protection after this year. The cardiovascular drug is currently the world’s second-best selling prescription drug, with annual sales of $9 billion.
As for other Bristol-Myers drugs, anti-psychotic Abilify saw its revenue jump 12 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier to $706 million. Reyataz, an HIV medicine, generated a revenue gain of 11 percent to $396 million. Sales for AIDS treatment Sustiva climbed 12 percent to $371 million. And leukemia drug Sprycel’s revenue jumped 46 percent to $193 million.
“Bristol-Myers remains hands down the best pipeline story among the U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies we cover,” Tim Anderson, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein wrote in a note to clients. “2011 is likely to be a buy year.”
To be sure, sales of the company’s blood pressure drug Avapro fell 18 percent to $251 million amid generic competition. Overall, Bristol-Myers’ revenue soared 14 percent to $5.43 billion in the second quarter.
“This performance demonstrates the success of our bio-pharma strategy in delivering short-term results and in positioning the company for the future,” said CEO Lamberto Andreotti. The company next reports around Oct. 28.
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