AbbVie raises annual profit forecast on strong Skyrizi sales

By Thomson Reuters Apr 26, 2024 | 6:44 AM

By Leroy Leo and Christy Santhosh

(Reuters) – AbbVie raised its annual profit forecast on Friday after strong sales of its immunology drug Skyrizi and cancer drug Imbruvica helped the company beat Wall Street estimates for the first quarter.

The company now expects adjusted profit of between $11.13 and $11.33 per share for this year, compared with $10.97 to $11.17 estimated earlier.

Analysts on average expect annual profit of $11.10 per share, according to LSEG data.

AbbVie and its investors have focused on sales of newer immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq to offset the erosion of sales from Humira – the world’s biggest selling drug till it lost exclusivity and saw the entry of close copies last year.

Skyrizi sales of $2.01 billion beat estimates of $1.94 billion, while Rinvoq’s $1.09 billion came in slightly higher than expectations of $1.06 billion.Sales of Humira fell nearly 36% to $2.27 billion for the quarter, roughly in line with estimates of $2.28 billion.

Despite nine biosimilars being launched in the U.S. last year, AbbVie has held onto more than 98% of the Humira market.

Earlier this month, German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim said it will lay off some of its U.S. sales force due to poor sales of its Humira biosimilar in the region.

Investors have also been concerned about a potential price drop for AbbVie’s Imbruvica from 2026 after it was selected as one of the 10 drugs subject to negotiations with U.S. Medicare insurance plans.

The company in October took a $2.1 billion charge related to an expected drop in Imbruvica sales. A final price is expected to be announced on Aug. 1.

Imbruvica generated $838 million in the quarter, beating estimates of $744 million.

AbbVie recorded an adjusted profit of $2.31 per share, surpassing estimates of $2.23 per share, while its total sales of $12.31 billion came in above expectations of $11.92 billion.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo and Christy Santhosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)