New York — On Thursday, Bristol-Myers Squibb significantly raised its full-year earnings forecast, even as first-quarter sales of some medicines fell short of expectations and sent shares of the US pharmaceutical firm down more than 1%. Sales of immuno-oncology drug Opdivo, by far the company’s most important growth driver, surged 34% to $1.51bn, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.28bn. "Eliquis and Opdivo were very strong," SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst John Boris said, but added: "There was weakness across several of its franchises," noting sales shortfalls of cancer drugs Sprycel for leukaemia and Bristol’s older immunotherapy, Yervoy. The hepatitis C franchise all but disappeared with sales of just $3m, while Wall Street was looking for about $56m. That stood in sharp contrast to AbbVie’s hepatitis C drugs, which blew past analysts’ forecasts on Thursday. Bristol-Myers shares were down 1.5% at $50.98, while AbbVie’s were up 4.1% at $95.70, on Thursday. Excluding special item...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now