Biotech Stock in Focus: Abbvie Q2 Earnings Impress Due to Humira Sales

AbbVie Inc (ABBV) reported second quarter 2014 earnings of 82 cents per share, unchanged from the year-ago earnings but surpassing the Consensus Estimate of 76 cents. Revenues increased 5% to $4.926 billion in the second quarter of 2014, surpassing the Consensus Estimate of $4.671 billion. Results were boosted by Humira’s strong performance.

Including one-time items, second quarter 2014 earnings came in at 68 cents per share, up 3%. Key drug Humira recorded growth of 26.2% with revenues coming in at $3.288 billion. U.S. sales increased 35.6% ($1.661 billion). Ex-U.S. sales increased 17.8% to $1.627 billion.

Factors like continued market expansion, share gains, and particularly strong growth in gastroenterology drove Humira’s sales in the U.S. Humira is expected to exhibit high-teens growth in the U.S. in the third quarter.

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Ex-U.S. sales of Humira were driven by new indications, share gains and double-digit market growth in most key countries. The timing of international shipments also helped sales. Low double-digit growth is expected in the third quarter in ex-U.S. markets driven by strong underlying trends that will be partially offset by the timing of shipments. Overall, Humira sales are expected to grow in double-digits this year.

Other products that performed well include Synthroid (up 8.7% to $166 million), Creon (up 4.1% to $110 million), Sevoflurane (up 12.6% to $154 million) and Duodopa (up 29.3% to $56 million). AbbVie said that adjusted SG&A was 27.1% of sales in the second quarter-this reflects the company’s investment in its growth brands as well as preparations for the potential launch of its hepatitis C virus (HCV) combination therapy.

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AbbVie’s second quarter results were strong with the company beating on the top-and bottom-line thanks to strong Humira sales. Wall Street seems to be positive on AbbVie’s decision to acquire Shire. AbbVie will not just lower its taxes through this acquisition; it will also boost its product portfolio significantly especially for rare diseases. This acquisition is very important for the company, which was mainly dependent on Humira for growth.

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