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Bristol Myers lifts annual profit view on hopes of pickup in patient visits

Credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU

Bristol Myers Squibb Co raised its annual profit forecast on Thursday on hopes of a recovery in sales of its hospital-administered drugs, which had taken a hit as patients stayed away from doctors' offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corrects typo in paragraph 1

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Bristol Myers Squibb Co BMY.N raised its annual profit forecast on Thursday on hopes of a recovery in sales of its hospital-administered drugs, which had taken a hit as patients stayed away from doctors' offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. drugmaker said it was expecting demand for its drugs from new patients as well as for its products administered by doctors to recover in the third quarter and stabilize in the fourth quarter.

Pfizer and Merck & Co MRK.N are also expecting medical visits by patients to return to normal by the fourth quarter.

Bristol now expects full-year adjusted profit of $6.10 to $6.25 per share, up from its prior forecast of $6 to $6.20 per share.

Shares of the company rose nearly 4% in trading before the bell after the company's second-quarter adjusted profit of $1.63 per share beat analysts' average estimate by 15 cents.

Bristol's total revenue also rose 61.5% to $10.13 billion, above estimate of $9.97 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, mainly due to its $74 billion buyout of Celgene.

Sales of its cancer drug Opdivo, however, fell 9% to $1.65 billion, roughly in line with analysts' estimates. Sales of Eliquis rose 6% to $2.16 billion.

Bristol reported a net loss of $85 million, or 4 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $1.43 billion, or 87 cents per share, mainly due to amortization of assets and higher costs from the Celgene deal.

On Wednesday, a court upheld the company's patents on blockbuster blood thinner Eliquis, which its shares with Pfizer Inc PFE.N.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D'Silva)

((Manas.Mishra@thomsonreuters.com; www.twitter.com/Manasmishra24; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 806749 2709;))

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