Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) Posts $711 Million Loss From Generic Plavix Cutting Sales, Research Charge  
10/24/2012 8:16:20 AM

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. posted a rare loss in the third quarter as U.S. sales hemorrhaged due to new generic competition to blood thinner Plavix and the company took a big charge for a failed research project. The company slashed its profit forecast for the full year, and its shares fell more than 2 per cent in premarket trading. The maker of diabetes drug Onglyza said Wednesday that it lost $711 million, or 43 cents per share. A year ago, the New York-based company posted net income of $969 million, or 56 cents per share. Excluding the charge, net income would have been $685 million, or 41 cents per share, a penny below analysts' expectations of 42 cents. Total revenue fell 30 per cent, to $3.74 billion, short of the $4 billion analysts anticipated. That was mainly because revenue from blood thinner Plavix, which had been the world's second-bestselling drug until U.S. generic competition hit in May, dropped 96 per cent in the July-September quarter to $64 million. Total U.S. sales dropped an astounding 43 per cent, to $2 billion, as generic competition to two other big sellers piled on. Those are blood pressure drugs Avapro and Avalide, whose combined sales fell 56 per cent to $96 million. Fellow drugmaker Eli Lilly likewise was hurt by generic competition — to its all-time bestseller, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, whose sales fall 68 per cent to $374.5 million. Its net income rose slightly, though, on a drop in expenses and a one-time gain.