Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reported lower-than-expected quarterly results as it ramped up spending to promote newer drugs and saw disappointing demand for older medicines, including its Plavix blood clot preventer and Avapro blood pressure treatment.
The company on Thursday said it earned $852 million, or 50 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $483 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when it took a variety of special charges.
Excluding special items, the company earned 53 cents per share in the latest quarter. Analysts, on average, expected 55 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Global sales rose 7 percent to $5.45 billion, slightly below analysts' consensus forecast of $5.51 billion, little affected by foreign exchange factors.
Bristol-Myers forecast 2012 earnings of $1.90 to $2.00 per share, assuming exchange rates remain steady. That would mean a profit decline of 12 to 17 percent from 2011. Sales of Plavix and Avapro are expected to plunge later this year on competition in the United States from cheaper generics. Wall Street expects 2012 earnings of $1.97 per share.
The company said it expects 2012 sales of $17.2 billion to $18.2 billion, as much as a 19 percent decline from 2011. The forecast assumes Plavix sales of $2.7 billion, down sharply from $7.1 billion in 2011.
The high end of the 2012 sales forecast matches Wall Street expectations.
Plavix, the worlds' second-biggest drug, loses U.S. patent protection on May 17. Its fourth-quarter sales slipped 3 percent to $1.67 billion. Sales of Avapro fell 23 percent to $195 million.
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