AbbVie raises full-year profit forecast as Humira fuels sales beat

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Humira sales rose 3.5% to $4.87 billion, beating expectations of $4.78 billion. Sales, however, fell 8.3% in markets outside the United States due to rising competition, especially in Europe.

The world’s best selling medicine, approved to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, is also expected to face competition in the United States after 2023.

AbbVie is now banking on newer treatments such as Skyrizi and rheumatoid arthritis drug Rinvoq to blunt the blow.

Sales of Skyrizi surged about 91% to $574 million in the first quarter ended March 31, beating estimates of $569.89 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net revenues rose nearly 51% to $13.01 billion, ahead of estimates of $12.76 billion.

Sales of Botox, which AbbVie gained through its $63 billion deal for Allergan (NYSE:AGN), rose 44.7% to $447 million as a treatment for wrinkles and other cosmetic uses, and the drug generated sales of $532 million as a treatment for conditions such as migraine.

Sales of the anti-wrinkle injection had been hit last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic as people avoided non-urgent medical procedures.

Net earnings rose to $3.55 billion, or $1.99 per share, from $3.01 billion, or $2.02 per share, a year earlier.

AbbVie raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to between $12.37 and $12.57 per share, from its prior estimate of $12.32 to $12.52.