Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) hasn't been a big winner for investors so far this year. And that's despite the big drugmaker having some pretty good news along the way, including positive results from a late-stage study of experimental psoriasis drug deucravacitinib earlier this week.

The company had even more good news when it announced its third-quarter results before the market opened on Thursday. Here are the highlights of Bristol Myers Squibb's Q3 update.

Scientist in lab, smiling with her arms crossed.

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Bristol Myers Squibb reported revenue in the third quarter of $10.5 billion, a strong 75% jump from the prior-year period. This result topped the consensus Wall Street estimate of $10.3 billion.

The drugmaker announced Q3 net income of $1.9 billion, or $0.82 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). BMS posted GAAP earnings of $1.4 billion, or $0.83 per share, in the same period in 2019. 

On an adjusted basis, Bristol Myers Squibb's net income in the third quarter totaled $3.7 billion, or $1.63 per share. This reflected a huge increase from the adjusted earnings of $1.9 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the prior-year period. It also handily beat the average analysts' adjusted earnings estimate of $1.49 per share.

Behind the numbers

Most of those big year-over-year revenue and earnings increases for BMS stemmed from its acquisition of Celgene, which closed on Nov. 20, 2019. The company's revenue increased by only 6% on a pro forma basis calculated as if Celgene were part of BMS at the beginning of last year.

This pro forma growth was driven largely by Revlimid, a blockbuster blood cancer drug picked up with the Celgene transaction, and Eliquis, the blood thinner co-marketed by BMS and Pfizer. Sales of Revlimid increased by 10% year over year to $3.03 billion, while BMS' portion of the sales of Eliquis rose 9% to $2.1 billion.

BMS reported even stronger growth for a couple of other drugs. Sales of multiple myeloma drug Pomalyst/Imnovid jumped 17% year over year to $777 million. Sales of cancer immunotherapy Yervoy soared 26% to $446 million.

The company also received help from several newer drugs that Celgene brought to the table. The biggest winner among this group was Reblozyl, with sales for the drug used in treating anemia in adults with rare blood disease beta-thalassemia totaling $96 million in Q3.

BMS had two top-selling drugs that experienced year-over-year sales declines in the third quarter, though. Sales of cancer immunotherapy Opdivo slipped 2% to $1.78 billion, while sales of Sprycel dropped 3% to $544 million.

Looking ahead

The company raised its full-year 2020 guidance. It now projects GAAP earnings per share (EPS) will be between $0.47 to $0.57. BMS previously projected GAAP EPS ranging from a loss of $0.06 to a gain of $0.09. Adjusted EPS is expected to be between $6.25 and $6.35, up from the company's previous guidance range of $6.10 to $6.25.

There are quite a few potential catalysts on the way for the big pharma stock. BMS' acquisition of MyoKardia should soon close. The FDA is scheduled to make an approval decision for a combination of Opdivo and Exelixis' Cabometyx in treating advanced renal cell carcinoma by Feb. 20, 2021. Another big FDA approval decision for ide-cel in treating multiple myeloma is also expected by March 7, 2021.

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