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...

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