Last week, pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb
In contrast to the third and fourth quarters of last year, which saw sales dip 13% and 16% respectively, sales for the first quarter only dropped 4% at Bristol-Myers. This moderation in its top-line deterioration occurred as a result of a decline in the volume of generic Plavix on the market, which caused Plavix sales to fall only 5% this quarter.
Partly because of a favorable tax situation, earnings per share declined only $0.01 year over year to $0.35 for the quarter. As a result of this unexpected benefit, Bristol-Myers raised its full-year GAAP earnings $0.12 on each end to $1.24 to $1.34 per share.
Even though Plavix sales are finally beginning to stabilize after Apotex's generic assault on the drug, Bristol-Myers and marketing partner Sanofi-Aventis
With more than a fifth of its revenue at stake with the Plavix court decision, any bet on shares of Bristol-Myers at this time is a gamble hoping for a positive outcome against Apotex with the litigation. Based on how Bristol-Myers and marketing partner Sanofi have fared with other pieces of litigation and patent cases for their top compounds, that's a bet I wouldn't make at this time.
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