Bristol CEO: Buying yes, selling no

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a buyer, not a seller. That's what CEO Jim Cornelius (photo) pledged during yesterday's earnings call. Bristol is definitely "out hunting" for deals with a war chest of $10 billion in cash, he said. "There is $10 billion of real cash in the bank so we have the flexibility and the speed to get these deals done," he said. "We are out hunting, and we will see what we can get done."

But the reverse isn't true: Cornelius & Co. aren't out hunting for buyers. Despite speculation that Bristol might be a takeover target, the company has not put out a "for sale" sign. "We've said over and over again, 'We're not for sale,' " Cornelius said.

Besides deals, Bristol is focusing on being "value-oriented" rather than "volume-driven." In an interview with Bloomberg, he distanced himself from the strategies of other Big Pharmas--such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline--that are pushing to diversify both product-wise into generics and consumer health, and geographically into emerging markets. Bristol is more about focus and R&D, he said.

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