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By Deena Beasley

(Reuters) -Bristol Myers Squibb on Thursday reported a first-quarter loss as charges related to its recent acquisitions of Karuna Therapeutics (NASDAQ:), RayzeBio and Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:) offset a 5% increase in revenue.

The New Jersey-based drugmaker posted a loss of $4.40 per share, including charges for acquired research and development. Analysts on average had expected a loss of $4.41 per share, according to LSEG data.

On a net basis, Bristol’s loss was $5.89 per share.

The company reported quarterly revenue of $11.87 billion, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $11.48 billion.

For full year 2024, Bristol dramatically cut its adjusted profit forecast to between 40 cents and 70 cents per share due to deal expenses. The company had previously forecast earnings of $7.10 to $7.40 per share.

Shares of the drugmaker fell over 2% to $47.80 in premarket trading.

Analysts had adjusted their full-year earnings estimates in anticipation of the cut and now expect the company to earn 66 cents per share, still above the new midpoint of the range.

Bristol said it continues to expect 2024 revenue growth at a rate in the low single digits.

Revenue growth in the quarter was primarily driven by higher sales of blood thinner Eliquis, which Bristol shares with Pfizer (NYSE:), anemia drug Reblozyl and melanoma treatment Opdualag, the company said. That was partially offset by lower sales of older cancer drugs Opdivo and Revlimid.

Quarterly sales of Opdivo fell 6% to $2.08 billion, missing analyst estimates of $2.32 billion.

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Global demand for Opdivo remained strong, but first-quarter sales were affected by changes in U.S. buying patterns, Bristol Myers (NYSE:) Chief Commercialization Officer Adam Lenkowsky said in an interview. He said Bristol is “confident we will see accelerating growth this year.”

The company is expecting the cancer immunotherapy to lose patent protection later this decade and has been pursuing outside assets to restock its drug development pipeline.

Bristol Myers has already faced pressure from generic competition for Revlimid, once its top-selling drug.

Current top seller Eliquis is expected to have revenue somewhat curtailed when the U.S. Medicare health plan for people over age 65 institutes negotiated drug prices starting in 2026.

Bristol said it expects to save about $1.5 billion by the end of 2025, through measures such as reducing third-party spending and reduction of management layers.

Its cost-saving measures are expected to impact nearly 2,200 employees this year, the drugmaker said in its earnings presentation.



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