AbbVie’s Humira powers profit beat as COVID-19 weighs on Botox sales – Metro US

AbbVie’s Humira powers profit beat as COVID-19 weighs on Botox sales

A trader works by the post that trades AbbVie on
A trader works by the post that trades AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

(Reuters) – AbbVie Inc <ABBV.N> on Friday posted a quarterly adjusted profit above estimates as robust sales of its blockbuster arthritis treatment, Humira, helped cushion weak demand for its aesthetic drugs, including Botox, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company bought Allergan for a hefty $63 billion in May, to gain control over its medical aesthetics business including lucrative wrinkle treatment Botox and reduce dependence on Humira ahead of its U.S. patent expiry in 2023.

The unit, however, suffered as Americans postponed non-emergency procedures during shelter-in-place restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Total Botox cosmetic comparable sales plunged 43.1% to $226 million and therapeutic sales fell 22.3% to $297 million in the second quarter ended June 30, on a comparable basis.

Mizuho analyst Vamil Divan said the aesthetics unit and Botox, however, are holding up better through COVID-19 than the brokerage had expected.

AbbVie said both the businesses are seeing a rapid recovery and are now performing near pre-COVID levels.

“At of the end of June, the vast majority of our aesthetics accounts have reopened in the United States, and we’re seeing considerable pent-up demand,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said on a post-earnings conference call.

The company also said it expects to see continued recovery in the second half of the year as its total business had already recovered to more than 90% of pre-COVID levels by the end of June.

AbbVie forecast a combined company 2020 adjusted earnings of $10.35 to $10.45 per share, representing a 11% annualized net accretion from the Allergan deal. The forecast includes the results of Allergan from May 8 through Dec. 31.

This is above consensus estimate of $10.35 per share, according to Divan.

Excluding items, AbbVie reported a quarterly profit of $2.34 per share, beating estimates of $2.19 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Share of the company were down 2% in late morning trading.

(Reporting By Manojna Maddipatla and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Shailesh Kuber)