AbbVie Boosts Revenue Outlook Even With Concerns Over Loss of Humira Exclusivity

This week, drugmaker AbbVie reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue results and raising their guidance in the process.  This comes after sales of the Chicago-based company’s new cancer treatment helped to stem some of the suffering from the exclusivity loss of its blockbuster European drug Humira.  As such, AbbVie says it can now expect to see adjusted earnings per share between $8.82 and $8.92 for the year, which is definitely higher than the previous range of $8.73 to $8.83.

Indeed, AbbVie could use some good news today.  In June, the pharmaceutical company announced a plan to acquire Botox-maker Allergan in a deal worth $63 billion.  The aim, of course, was to replenish their pipeline of popular—and best-selling drug in the world—but the announcing the need for this in preparation of the Humira loss still plunged the stock 15 percent. 

The reported sales of nearly $8.3 billion, year-over-year, were higher than the consensus forecast revenue of $8.1 billion in the most recent quarter.  However, that number is still down 0.3 percent year-over-year (on the basis of GAAP).  More importantly, though, revenue from Humira sales plunged 35 percent around the world now that biosimilar competition has entered the market.  At least AbbVie still has exclusivity in the United States, boosting sales by 7.7 percent. 

All of this boils down to higher outlook with more optimism regarding the company’s full-year profit.  At the end of the day, AbbVie reported an adjusted per-share profit of $2.26, beating Wall Street’s estimates of $2.21.  And even though Humira sales are down, they did still beat some consensus estimates at $4.9 billion versus $4.8 billion, respectively.  

One thing that might be helping AbbVie to grow, despite its struggles, could be stellar performances from their blood cancer drugs: Imbruvica and Venclexta.  Imbruvca revenues soared nearly 30 percent on the year, so far, to $1.1 billion.  Venclexta is also doing quite well, generating sales of $169 million; up from $151 million in the first quarter.  Moreover, the company expects sales will continue to escalate after the FDA decided to approve Venclexta for use in combination with first-line chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), known as Gazyva.