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Drugmaker Bristol-Myers posts 4Q loss from year-ago profit

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers posts 4Q loss from year-ago profit

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Thursday it lost $134 million (euro103.25 million) in the fourth quarter compared with a year-ago profit, as sales of its best-selling drug Plavix plunged and it took a hefty charge to settle investigations into pricing policies.
For the period, Bristol-Myers lost 7 cents a share, compared with net income of $499 million (euro384.5 million) or 26 cents a share a year earlier. Excluding certain items, Bristol-Myers earned 19 cents a share, beating by 3 cents the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
Last August, generic drug maker Apotex Inc. began selling a cheaper version of Plavix, a blood thinner Bristol-Myers co-markets with Sanofi-Aventis SA, after an agreement to settle a patent dispute fell apart. A judge issued an injunction forcing Apotex to stop selling the generic drug but it wasn't required to recall what was already in the market.
Plavix sales sank 53 percent to $496 million (euro382.19 million) from $1.06 billion (euro0.82 billion). Overall revenue for the period fell to $4.2 billion (euro3.24 billion) from $5.02 billion (euro3.87 billion). Analysts were expecting revenue of $4.18 billion (euro3.22 billion) for quarter.
Bristol-Myers said the generic Plavix will continue to effect the company's performance in 2007 because it believes Apotex sold six months worth of the product. Assuming there is no additional generic competition for Plavix, Bristol-Myers expects to earn between $1.20 (euro.92) and $1.30 (euro1) a share, excluding items, in 2007. Analysts predicted the company would earn $1.22 (euro.94) a share.
The patent trial over Plavix began in New York City earlier this week.
Revenue was also hurt by the loss of exclusivity on Pravachol, a cholesterol-lowering agent which lost patent protection last April. Its sales dropped 75 percent to $146 million (euro112.5 million).
Sales of some newer products advanced. Revenue from AIDS drug Reyataz rose 36 percent to $255 million (euro196.49 million) while sales from anti-psychotic Abilify grew 62 percent to $362 million (euro278.93 million).
Bristol-Myers took a $353 million (euro272 million) charge for reserves to pay $499 million (euro384.5 million) to settle federal investigations into whether the company played a role in a pricing scheme that led insurers and government agencies to overpay for drugs.
The New York-based drugmaker entered an agreement in principle with the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts to pay the settlement and avoid civil and criminal charges late last year.
During the quarter, Bristol-Myers also took a $220 million (euro169.52 million) charge associated with early debt retirement.
For the full year, net income sank to $1.59 billion (euro1.23 billion) or 81 cents a share, from $3 billion (euro2.31 billion) or $1.52 (euro1.17) a share, a year earlier.


Updated : 2020-12-05 00:27 GMT+08:00