Business at Bristol-Myers Squibb
That said, fourth-quarter results weren't exactly great, either. Total sales fell by about 3% from the year-ago period, and pharmaceutical sales dropped by a like amount. Simply put, double-digit growth from a stable of drugs including Plavix, Abilify, Reyataz, and Erbitux weren't enough to outweigh losses to competition and generics -- as seen in cases like Pravachol's 18% drop. Net income, once adjusted for charges and items in both years, was also down about 23% from last year's level.
Unfortunately, things are likely to get worse before they get better. By the company's own estimation, it will lose more than another $1 billion in sales in 2006 to generic competition for drugs such as Pravachol, Taxol, and Cefzil. That's why losing out on promising diabetes-treatment drug Pargluva -- on which it once had a partnership with Merck
And, of course, there's always the risk that even more things will go wrong. Plavix is facing a patent challenge, the company is a little bit behind Merck and Novartis
Still, the dividend here is attractive, and the company is already in the process of reducing its cost base -- a move that Pfizer
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).