October 26, 2017 / 11:03 AM / a year ago

Bristol Myers posts in-line sales, but profit margins worsen

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co reported a 7 percent increase in third-quarter revenue as sales of key drugs met Wall Street expectations, but adjusted earnings fell slightly short due to an inventory write-off.

Excluding one-time items, the drugmaker said it earned 75 cents a share, compared with the 77 cents a share average analyst estimate, as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales of cancer immunotherapy Opdivo rose 39 percent to $1.27 billion, in line with expectations of $1.21 billion, while sales of blood thinner Eliquis rose 38 percent to $1.23 billion, matching analyst estimates.

Net earnings rose to $845 million, or 51 cents a share, from $384 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier.

Bristol raised its full-year outlook for adjusted earnings per share by 5 cents to between $2.90 and $3.00. But the drugmaker lowered its net EPS outlook to a range of $2.36 to $2.46 from $2.66 to $2.76, citing higher research and development costs and taxes.

Overall third-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to $5.25 billion, meeting Wall Street estimates.

Bristol said its gross margin as a percentage of revenue fell to 70.1 percent from 73.5 percent a year earlier due to product mix and an inventory charge.

Reporting by Deena Beasley; editing by Jason Neely

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