BMS, AZ, Wyeth report earnings

A handful of drug makers released their earnings, and it's a mixed bag: some up, some down, some hit by one-time charges. Here's a roundup.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb reported a fourth-quarter loss of $133 million on revenues of $5.38 billion, profits hampered by a slate of extraordinary charges. Rebounding sales of the clot-buster Plavix, plus rising revenues from cancer-fighter Erbitux and other meds, boosted sales. But BMS isn't as optimistic about 2008 earnings now as it was in December; it downgraded EPS expectations to $1.36 to $1.46 from $1.44 to $1.54.
  • AstraZeneca met analysts' expectations with a 3 percent downfall in 2007 earnings, citing "challenging" market conditions. Pretax profits were $7.98 billion on a 12 percent hike in sales to $29.56 billion. In 2008, the company faces possible generic competition for its blockbuster heartburn drug Nexium and its schizophrenia drug Seroquel. But, AZ says, its cost-cutting plan--which includes cutting 10 percent of its workforce--will help profits in the coming year.
  • Wyeth reported a 19 percent increase in fourth-quarter net on strong sales growth of its arthritis, heartburn and antidepressant meds. Income rose to $1.02 billion, or 75 cents per share, on a 10 percent increase in revenues to $5.76 billion. But it's not as optimistic about 2008 as analysts had expected; it projected earnings for the coming year of $3.35 to $3.49 per share, compared with analysts' target of $3.54. One reason: It could face generic competition for its top-selling drug, Effexor, which loses patent protection on its active ingredient this year.

- see the earnings release from BMS
- here's AstraZeneca's earnings release (.pdf)
- see the article on AZ's earnings at CNBC
- check out a more detailed look at AZ's results in the Financial Times
- get the release and find the story on Wyeth's results