AbbVie’s fourth-quarter sales top estimates despite plunging Humira revenues

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AbbVie Inc.

on Friday reported fourth-quarter sales that topped analysts’ estimates, even as it faces low-cost competition for its top-selling drug, Humira.

The drugmaker reported fourth-quarter net income of $822 million, or 46 cents per share, down sharply from $2.473 billion, or $1.38 per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings per share of $2.79, which included an unfavorable impact of 15 cents a share related to acquired in-process research and development expenses, matched the FactSet consensus. Fourth-quarter revenues of $14.301 billion fell 5.4% from a year earlier but topped the FactSet consensus of $14.025 billion.

For the full year 2024, AbbVie said it expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $11.05 to $11.25, below the FactSet consensus estimate of $11.26. Looking further down the road, however, the company boosted its 2027 combined sales outlook for its arthritis drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq by about $6 billion, to more than $27 billion.

AbbVie is navigating one of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest losses of exclusivity as its blockbuster autoimmune drug Humira faces fresh biosimilar competition. Humira sales totaled $3.304 billion in the quarter, down 41% from a year earlier and in line with the FactSet consensus.

Sales of Skyrizi, meanwhile, jumped 52% from a year earlier, and Rinvoq sales grew 63%. Revenues from both drugs weighed in ahead of FactSet consensus expectations.

AbbVie on Friday stood by its previous guidance of high single-digit compound annual revenue growth through 2029. In 2024, AbbVie is “well-positioned to fully absorb Humira erosion and achieve modest operational revenue growth,” before returning to stronger growth in 2025, CEO Richard Gonzalez said in a statement.

Cancer drug Imbruvica generated $903 million in sales for the quarter, down 19% from a year earlier.

In AbbVie’s neuroscience portfolio, antipsychotic drug Vraylar generated $789 million in sales, up 40% from a year earlier. Sales of Qulipta, which got U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval last year for prevention of chronic migraines, came to $114 million in the quarter.

AbbVie’s aesthetics business, which includes cosmetic Botox and Juvederm, climbed 6.4% from a year earlier, to $1.371 billion.

Analysts are watching for AbbVie’s recently announced deals to prop up growth later this decade. AbbVie in recent months has struck deals to buy ImmunoGen Inc.
whose key asset is the antibody-drug conjugate Elahere, and neuroscience-focused Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings Inc.

AbbVie shares have gained 8.1% year to date, while the S&P 500
has gained 2.9%.

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