Bristol Myers Squibb missed analysts' Q1 estimates for both the top and bottom lines. Revenue rose 3% year over year to $11.1 billion, a little short of the consensus Wall Street estimate of $11.12 billion. Adjusted earnings were flat year over year at $4 billion, or $1.74 per share. The analysts' average estimate had been for adjusted earnings of $1.82 per share.
Year-over-year comparisons weren't very impressive for one primary reason: Sales for several of Bristol Myers Squibb's drugs were artificially higher in the prior-year period because healthcare providers were stocking up on medication at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in anticipation of potential supply chain issues. Of the company's blockbuster drugs, only one (cancer immunotherapy Yervoy) generated growth of more than 10% in Q1 2021.
Investors shouldn't be too pessimistic about the prospects for the big pharma stock, though. The impact of COVID-19 on its results will only be temporary, and Bristol Myers Squibb still has several drugs in its lineup that are capable of delivering stronger growth.
Bristol Myers Squibb projects full-year 2021 revenue growth in the high-single-digit percentages. Over the longer term, there are two key factors that will impact the company's growth. Revlimid will face limited-volume generic competition beginning in 2022. However, the company has newer drugs, including recently approved cell therapies Abecma (ide-cel) and Breyanzi (liso-cel), that could become blockbusters and potentially offset sales declines for Revlimid.