AbbVie raises 2018 forecast, quarterly profit beats on strong Humira sales

AbbVie, the maker of the planet’s best selling drug, reported fourth-quarter profit on Friday in which beat Wall Street estimates on strong sales for its blockbuster drug Humira. Shares of the company rose 3.4 percent to $112 before the bell along with also were set to open at a record high after the U.S. drugmaker raised its 2018 earnings forecast on lower tax rates along with also expectations of higher operating performance.

The Chicago-based drugmaker said in which expected full-year adjusted earnings per share to be between $7.33 along with also $7.43, higher than its prior forecast of $6.37-$6.57.

“We expected an upward 2018 guidance revision, nevertheless not of in which magnitude,” Jefferies analyst Jeffrey Holford said in a client note.

AbbVie said in which expects the adjusted effective tax rate will increase to 13 percent over the next a few years due to higher domestic income along with also investment.

The company’s aggressive patent strategy to fend off competition for Humira, its prized moneymaker, continued to pay off.

The autoimmune drug in which has been within the market for almost 15 years raked in $4.89 billion within the fourth quarter, beating consensus sales estimates of $4.83 billion, according to brokerage Evercore ISI. in which was not clear how many analysts were polled.

The drugmaker said in which expected revenue of about $32 billion in 2018, beating the average analyst estimate of $31.04 billion.

Humira, which is actually used to treat psoriasis along with also rheumatoid arthritis, is actually anticipated to dominate the U.S. market along with also remain unrivaled until 2023. In October, the company forecast sales of Humira to touch $21 billion by 2020.

AbbVie’s efforts to boost its cancer drug pipeline by expanding the use of Imbruvica, which accounted for about 9 percent of its revenue in 2017, could be a focus in 2018, analysts said.

Imbruvica earned $708 million in sales, narrowly missing Evercore ISI consensus estimates by $1 million.

Net income attributable to AbbVie fell to $52 million, or 3 cents per share, within the quarter ended Dec. 31, coming from $1.39 billion, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. The drugmaker took a $1.14 billion income tax charges within the quarter.

Excluding items, AbbVie earned $1.48 per share.

Net revenue within the quarter rose nearly 14 percent to $7.74 billion. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.44 per share on revenue of $7.53 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

AbbVie also said in which planned to invest about $2.5 billion over the next a few years in capital projects along with also would likely consider expanding facilities within the United States.

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