AbbVie's revenue misses as Hepatitis C, cancer drugs drag

A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange  

(Reuters) - AbbVie Inc's <ABBV.N> quarterly adjusted revenue missed analysts' estimate as sales of its hepatitis C treatment and cancer therapy came in below Street expectations, overshadowing strong U.S. sales of its flagship Humira drug.

The company's shares fell 1.25 percent to $60.50 in premarket trading on Friday.

Sales of the company's leukemia treatment Imbruvica, which is also sold by Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N>, and its hepatitis C treatment Vikiera Pak fell short of consensus estimates, according to Evercore ISI.

AbbVie acquired half-ownership of Imbruvica in 2015 through the buyout of Pharmacyclics Inc as part of efforts to reduce its dependence on its arthritis treatment Humira.

Sales of the drug, also used to treat Crohn's disease and psoriasis, rose 15.5 percent to $4.29 billion in the latest quarter, just ahead of the consensus estimate of $4.26 billion, according to Evercore ISI.

However, sales of Humira outside the United States came in light of expectations due to a strong dollar and possibly indirect biosimilar competition in Europe, analysts said.

AbbVie is trying to block the launch of Amgen Inc's <AMGN.O> approved biosimilar version of Humira in the United States, citing patents that should protect the drug until at least 2022.

Humira, the world's top selling drug, accounted for nearly two-thirds of AbbVie's total net revenue in the latest quarter.

AbbVie earlier this month promised to keep all price increases in 2017 under 10 percent amid recent political and payer scrutiny of drug pricing in the United States.

The company raised Humira's gross price by 8.4 percent last week, according to Evercore analysts.

AbbVie reported adjusted revenue of $6.78 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, below analysts' average estimate of $6.91 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.

The company said net profit fell to $1.39 billion, or 85 cents per share, from $1.52 billion, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the suburban Chicago drugmaker earned $1.20 per share, in line with the average analyst estimate.

Net revenue rose to $6.80 billion from $6.40 billion.

AbbVie said it expected 2017 adjusted earnings of $5.44 to $5.54 per share, compared with analysts' estimate of $5.47.

(Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)


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