Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) reported its Q3 earnings on October 23. In the last few quarters, the drug maker’s top line has been impacted by the patent expiry of Plavix and Avapro/Avalide, two major cardiovascular drugs. However, it swung back to growth in Q3, ahead of our expectations, as net sales increased 9% year-on-year on the back of strong sales of some of its newer drugs. The fastest growing drugs in Bristol’s portfolio include Yervoy (+33%), Sprycel (+20%), Orencia (+22%), and Bydureon (>300% growth but from a small base). Geographically speaking, international markets remained the major growth drivers, while sales in the U.S. remained more or less stagnant. 
We have an estimate of around $36 for Bristol’s stock, which is almost 25% below the current market price. We will update our model with the new data shortly.
Eliquis Has Started To Grow Again
Sales of Eliquis, Bristol’s flagship cardiovascular drug, seem to have resumed growth after the company began marketing it aggressively in key U.S. territories. In Q3, it generated $44 million in sales, a significant improvement from last quarter’s figure of just $12 million. The drug has tested favorably relative to competitors such as Xarelto (developed by Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson) and Pradaxa (developed by Boehringer Ingelheim). However, its sales have lagged expectations since its launch in Q1, due to its late entry into the market.
To solve this problem, Bristol has started educating customers in key territories about Eliquis’ favorable clinical profile, and these efforts seem to be paying off. According to the firm’s management, the medicine’s prescription trends are increasing as it has started to gain some traction among cardiologists, a key target audience. 
Going forward, we expect Eliquis’ sales to continue growing as more of Bristol’s campaigns start bearing fruit. The company has recently launched a direct-to-customer (DTC) advertising campaign in the U.S., and has plans to fund peer-to-peer educational activities in international territories. It is also looking to launch the drug in more countries. As of now, Eliquis is being sold in 13 countries, but Bristol has plans to launch it in four more countries soon, including Italy. (read: Despite Near-Term Troubles Eliquis’ Future Looks Bright)
Interesting Times For Immuno-Oncology Ahead
During the call, Bristol’s management also spoke in detail about its immuno-oncology pipeline and provided information about the ongoing clinical trials of some important drugs. The company is currently testing Nivolumab in as many as 25 clinical trials across more than eight tumor types. It also continues to test Yervoy’s effectiveness in treating lung and prostate cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with Nivolumab. ((Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript, SeekingAlpha, October 23, 2013))
One can expect some important clinical data to be publicly presented in the coming months. At the end of October, Bristol is scheduled to release updated two-year survival data for lung cancer patients who were treated with Nivolumab monotherapy. Then by the end of 2013, it will release data from the Phase I combination study of Nivolumab + Yervoy in non-small cell lung cancer.Notes:
- Press Release, Bristol-Myers Squibb, October 23, 2013 [↩]
- Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript, SeekingAlpha, October 23, 2013 [↩]