(Reuters) – Drugmaker Bristol Myers Squibb posted slightly better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Friday on growth of sales of its blood thinner Eliquis and cancer drug Opdivo, but said it no longer expects sales growth in 2022 due to stiff generic competition overseas for blood cancer drug Revlimid.
Revenue in the quarter rose 5% from last year, to $11.65 billion. Analysts had forecast $11.4 billion in revenue, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Earnings in the quarter were $1.28 billion, or 59 cents a share, down from $2.02 billion, or 89 cents a share, last year. Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned $1.96 a share, topping analyst forecasts of $1.91 a share.
The first-quarter dropoff in sales of Revlimid, which lost some patent protection this year, was not as sharp as expected. Sales of the drug were around $2.8 billion, compared with analyst forecasts of $2.53 billion.
Still, Bristol Myers cut its full-year sales forecast for Revlimid by $500 million, to $9 billion to $9.5 billion. Sales of the drug were around $12.8 billion in 2021.
Chief Financial Officer David Elkins said in an interview that uptake of U.S. generic competitors to the blood cancer drug was slow in the first quarter, but the company expects competition to pick up in the second quarter.
“What we’ve seen outside the U.S. is multiple generic entries. That erosion has been faster than we anticipated, and that’s the reason why we brought down our Revlimid guidance,” Elkins said.
Sales of Eliquis rose 11% to $3.21 billion and sales of Opdivo rose 12% to $1.92 billion in the quarter.
At the request of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, several drug companies have adjusted their forecasts to include expenses from milestone payments and acquisitions.
Bristol said it lowered its full-year forecast by 21 cents, to between $7.44 and $7.74 a share, to reflect those expenses.
(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Leslie Adler)