Better-than-expected sales drive Bristol Myers earnings

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Bristol Myers Squibb Co on Thursday posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, with most of its top-selling drugs outperforming Wall Street forecasts, as many Americans resumed routine medical care they had put off earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it earned $1.87 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $1.35 billion, or 83 cents a share, a year ago.

This year’s results include sales of drugs acquired with the $74 billion purchase of Celgene late last year.

Excluding one-time items, Bristol Myers said it earned $1.63 a share for the quarter. Analysts on average expected $1.49, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The New York-based company raised its full-year profit forecast and now expects to earn $6.25 to $6.35 per share, up from its prior view of $6.10 to $6.25 a share.

Sales were $10.54 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ forecasts by about $200 million.

The company’s cancer drugs Revlimid, Opdivo and Pomalyst, as well as rheumatoid arthritis medicine Orencia, all exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Shares of Bristol Myers closed at $65.43 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Michael Erman Editing by Bill Berkrot)