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Bristol-Myers Squibb's 2Q earnings beat Street on healthy sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo

The drugmaker raised its full-year forecast to between US$3.55 and US$3.65 per share, taking up the top and bottom end of its previous forecast by US$0.20 per share
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The stock took a beating earlier this year when Merck presented promising survival data for Keytruda in non-small cell lung cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) reported second-quarter earnings Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates on strong sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo and blood thinner Eliquis.

For the quarter ended June 2018, the New York-based pharmaceutical giant posted earnings of US$1.01 per share on revenue of US$5.7bn. This handily beat consensus estimates of US$0.87 per share on revenue of US$5.4bn. Revenue grew 10.9% on a year-over-year basis.

“We had a very good second quarter where we delivered strong performance for Eliquis and Opdivo, and achieved important regulatory and data milestones supporting our Immuno-Oncology portfolio,” said Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio.

READ: Cancer doctors offer key takeaways from American Society of Clinical Oncology conference

“We are focused on robust commercial execution and the evolution of our diversified pipeline to deliver transformational medicines,” he added.

Shares of the drugmaker seesawed, declining 1.4% to Us$58.18 in the morning session after rising more than 3% when the market opened.

Analysts hailed the performance of Opdivo alone and in combination with its other immuno-oncology drug Yervoy as positive, but there’s fierce competition brewing from rival immunotherapies, especially Merck & Co’s (NYSE:MRK) Keytruda, which recently won a priority review as a treatment for advanced lung cancer.

"The performance is encouraging, but immuno-oncology competition is intensifying," BMO Capital Markets analyst Alex Arfaei wrote in a research note seen by Reuters. "Therefore, R&D and commercial execution in immuno-oncology remains paramount."

Bristol-Myers stock took a beating earlier this year when Merck presented promising survival data for Keytruda in non-small cell lung cancer.

Still, Bristol-Myers raised its full-year earnings forecast to between US$3.55 and US$3.65 per share. The company's previous guidance was earnings of US$3.35 to US$3.45 per share. The current consensus earnings estimate is a more conservative US$3.43 per share for the year ending December 31, 2018.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

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