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EARNINGS-Bristol Myers lifts annual profit view on hopes of pickup in patient visits to doctors

Credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU

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

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

The U.S. drugmaker said it expects demand from new patients and for its products administered by doctors to start recovering in the third quarter and fully recovery in the fourth quarter.

Other companies such as Pfizer Inc PFE.N and Bristol's close rival Merck & Co MRK.N also expect medical visits 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 range of $6-$6.20 per share.

The company's total revenue rose 61.5% to $10.13 billion in the second quarter, above Refinitiv estimate of $9.97 billion, 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 blood thinner Eliquis, which it shares with Pfizer, 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.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

((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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