Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) began 2020 with a lot of products that it didn't have a year ago thanks to the giant Celgene deal that closed last November. The company's second-quarter earnings report on Thursday was seen as positive even though the company lost $1.48 per share during the three months ended June 30, 2020. 

Bristol Myers Squibb's quarterly updates weren't simple before the company integrated Celgene's operations. If you don't want to dig through all the details, here are five key takeaways investors should understand. 

Scientist reading something complicated.

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1. Revenue didn't actually rise

They hardly tell the whole story, but top-line figures aren't a bad place to start. Bristol Myers Squibb beat analyst expectations with $10.13 billion in revenue, which was 61.6% more than the company reported in the previous-year period.

Before getting too excited, it's important to realize that the enormous gain was a result of adding product sales from freshly acquired products. If we add in sales that Celgene reported in the previous-year period, total revenue actually dipped by $30 million on a pro forma basis. 

2. A heavy loss

On the bottom line, the company reported adjusted earnings about 9% higher than the average analyst following the company from Wall Street had expected. At $1.63 per share, adjusted earnings were also 38% higher than the previous year period.

Unfortunately, Bristol Myers Squibb had to write down the value of acquired intangible assets by a whopping $2.4 billion. The non-cash charge led to a reported loss of $85 million or $0.04 per share.

3. COVID-19 adjustment

Second-quarter revenue stayed level on a pro forma basis but products appear poised to post significant growth once it's easier for patients to visit their physicians. Bristol Myers Squibb estimated the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lowered sales by around $600 million.

Bristol Myers Squibb isn't developing any new drugs to treat COVID-19 or vaccines to prevent infection. The company is testing Orencia, an immunosuppressant used to treat rheumatoid arthritis patients, as a potential treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Immunosuppressants are generally a bad idea for patients fighting an infection, but in severe cases of COVID-19, immune systems run rampant and do more to harm than good. 

Prescription drugs and banknotes.

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4. Ups and downs

Second-quarter sales of the multiple myeloma drug Revlimid rose 6% year over year to $2.88 billion, making it the single largest revenue stream in Bristol Myers Squibb's lineup. Adding high-margin Revlimid to the company's product mix lowered the company's overall cost of sales from 31.4% of revenue last year to 26.6% during the second quarter of 2020. 

Bristol Myers Squibb's former top-selling product, Opdivo, continued its downward slide caused by increasing competition from similar treatments. Sales of the cancer immunotherapy fell 9% year over year to $1.65 billion. Sales of Eliquis, the company's next-generation blood thinner climbed 6% to $2.16 billion. 

5. Launch progress

Opdivo's sliding, but recent drug launches are performing well enough to offset the losses. Sales of Reblozyl, the first treatment for anemia in adults with beta-thalassemia, are expected to peak at around $2 billion annually and they're on their way to reaching that goal. Second-quarter Reblozyl sales, which reached $55 million, were 689% higher than during the first quarter.

After earning approval in late March, second-quarter sales of Zeposia, a new oral multiple sclerosis treatment, reached just $1 million. Before Celgene dropped the ball a couple of years ago, sales of this drug were expected to top out around at $6 billion annually. The multiple sclerosis space has become more competitive, but there's still a good chance that Zeposia can add more than $1 billion to Bristol Myers Squibb's top line in just a few years.

With new growth drivers to offset impending losses when Revlimid loses patent-protected market exclusivity in 2023, Bristol Myers Squibb has what it takes to keep its bottom line heading in the right direction for years to come.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.