Today's Top Health Care Stocks: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene Corp. and Eli Lilly

Let's take a look at today's top stories in biotech and health care. Keep an eye out for Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN  ) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) , Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG  ) and Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY  ) . 

Alexion tops consensus for the second quarter
Alexion beat Wall Street's estimates for the second quarter this morning, posting non-GAAP EPS of $1.12, compared to consensus of $1.05. Revenue also came in higher than expected by $2.95 million at $512.5 million for the quarter.

In terms of year-over-year growth, the company saw revenue rise by 38%, driven by rising sales of Soliris. Management noted in the release that this increase in Soliris sales was partially the result of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome patients beginning treatment with the drug. Based on these strong quarterly results, the company raised its 2014 revenue guidance to $2.18 to $2.20 billion, compared to its former range of $2.15 to $2.17 billion. Shares are up 0.59% in premarket trading. 

Bristol's second quarter better than expected
Bristol-Myers posted a non-GAAP EPS of $0.48 this morning, topping consensus by $0.04. Revenues came in at $3.889 billion for the quarter, or $30 million higher than consensus.

Total revenue fell by 4% compared to the same period a year ago, mainly reflecting the divestiture of its diabetes franchise to its former partner AstraZeneca earlier this year. Excluding this business segment, revenues grew by 7% year-over-year, propelled by particularly strong sales of Yervoy, Sprycel and Orencia during the quarter. Shares are up 1.6% in premarket trading. 

Celgene narrowly beats consensus in the second quarter
Celgene reported an adjusted diluted EPS of $0.90 on a split-adjusted basis this morning, with revenue coming in at $1.873 billion for the second quarter. By contrast, Wall Street was expecting EPS to come in at $0.89 on revenue of $1.85 billion for the quarter. In short, Celgene did slightly better than expected for the quarter.

Despite this earnings beat, shares are down in premarket today by 1.26%. My take is that investors were probably looking for a larger upside surprise today in light of the company's strong first quarter.

That being said, Celgene did see stellar sales growth for Revlimid, Abraxane and Pomalyst/Imnovid during the quarter, although slumping Vidaza and Thalomid sales dampened top-line growth overall. Overall, worldwide sales rose by 17.9% in the second-quarter, compared to a year ago. 

Eli Lilly's second quarter hurt by plummeting Cymbalta and Evista sales
Although Eli Lilly beat consensus for both EPS and revenue in the second-quarter, this wasn't exactly a "win" for the company. Rather, Wall Street appears to have been overly pessimistic in the face of Lilly's patent issues for key products. 

For the second quarter, the company posted EPS of $0.68 on a non-GAAP basis, beating consensus by $0.03. Revenue came in at $4.936 billion, falling a whopping 17% year-over-year. 

Digging into the details of the release, the majority of this revenue decline appears to be due to Cymbalta sales dropping 73% and Evista sales plummeting 61%, from a year ago. Shares are presently unchanged in premarket trading. 

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George Budwell

George Budwell has been writing about healthcare and biotechnology companies at the Motley Fool since 2013. His primary interests are novel small molecule drugs, next generation vaccines, and cell therapies.

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