AbbVie (ABBV) performed a hat trick Friday — beating and raising for the third time in 2021 — and AbbVie stock inched closer to a buy point in early action.
The sales beat was largely driven by AbbVie’s immunology and aesthetics franchises, Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond said in a report to clients. AbbVie’s biggest moneymaker, inflammatory drug Humira, brought in $5.43 billion in sales, well above forecasts for $5.26 billion, he said.
But in conjunction with its earnings report, AbbVie unveiled mixed test results for its drug, Vraylar, in patients with depression. The drug missed its goal in one study, and only a low dose met the goal of a second study. Vraylar is already approved in schizophrenia and bipolar treatment.
“It is not uncommon to see mixed data for drugs in (major depressive disorder), given the heterogenous and subjective nature of the disease,” Mizuho Securities analyst Vamil Divan said in his report to clients. He noted AbbVie still plans to ask for Food and Drug Administration approval.
AbbVie Stock: Earnings, Sales Top
During the third quarter, AbbVie earned $3.33 per share — minus some items — on $14.34 billion in sales. Earnings advanced nearly 18% and sales rose 11% year over year. Both measures beat analysts’ call for profit of $3.21 per share and $14.3 billion in sales, according to FactSet.
By segment, the biggest growth came from AbbVie’s aesthetics portfolio — courtesy of its Allergan buyout. Overall, medical aesthetics sales surged more than 29% on a strict as-reported basis to $1.25 billion. Botox accounted for $545 million, beating views for $502 million, Piper Sandler’s Raymond said. On a year-over-year basis, cosmetic Botox sales soared nearly 39%.
Sales of immunology drugs, which includes Humira, jumped more than 15% to $6.67 billion. That included Skyrizi and Rinvoq, both of which topped projections, Raymond said. Psoriasis treatment Skyrizi brought in $796 million. Rinvoq, which treats rheumatoid arthritis, generated $453 million.
Mizuho’s Divan noted AbbVie stock investors are awaiting further clarity on the future of Rinvoq. The FDA recently said Rinvoq and other drugs in its class would have to include an additional warning on their label against heart-related events, cancer, blood clots and death.
“But we are encouraged by the company’s continued strong performance and outlook,” he said. He kept his buy rating on AbbVie stock.
AbbVie Raises 2021 Earnings View
Less bullishly, sales of AbbVie cancer drug Imbruvica came in short at $1.37 billion. Analysts called for $1.43 billion, Piper Sandler’s Raymond said.
The neuroscience segment was also mixed. Botox brought in $645 million in sales as a therapeutic for migraines and other conditions. That topped forecasts for $589 million and grew north of 23%. But sales of Vraylar and Parkinson’s drug Duodopa came in light.
AbbVie raised its full-year earnings outlook by 8 cents per share, at the midpoint, to $12.63-$12.67 a share. That beat AbbVie stock analysts’ projection for $12.59 per share. The Street also forecast $56.2 billion in sales.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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