TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on Thursday reported an 11.7 percent jump in first-quarter profit, as higher medicine sales and a gain from a legal settlement offset higher spending for marketing recently launched drugs.
Bristol-Myers, which sells the world's second best-selling drug, blood thinner Plavix, said net income was $1.1 billion, or 64 cents per share. That was up from $986 million, or 57 cents a share, in 2011's first quarter.
Revenue rose just under 5 percent, to $5.25 billion from $5.01 billion a year earlier.
The results almost perfectly matched the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet, who were expecting profit of 64 cents per share and revenue of $5.26 billion.
"This first-quarter performance continues to demonstrate our ability to balance delivering strong financial results in the short term with positioning the company for long-term success," CEO Lamberto Andreotti said in a statement.
Bristol-Myers confirmed its prior profit forecast for 2012 for earnings per share of $1.90 to $2. The company is expecting the same net and adjusted income per share, a rare occurrence in the industry.
The results included a $172 million gain from a legal settlement by Apotex Corp., Canada's biggest drugmaker, to end a decadelong, twist-filled patent infringement battle that included Apotex briefly selling generic Plavix while it was still under patent.
Revenue from Plavix, which Bristol sells with partner Sanofi SA, was down 4 percent in the quarter at $1.7 billion. Its sales are expected to plunge after the drug gets U.S. generic competition in May.
New generic competition hurt sales of blood pressure drugs Avapro and foreign counterpart Avalide, which fell 29 percent to $207 million. Abilify, for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was flat at $621 million.
Newer medicines picked up the slack. Onglyza and Kombiglyze — Onglyza combined with a second Type 2 diabetes drug — doubled their sales to $161 million. Sales of skin cancer drug Yervoy, approved last spring, grew to $154 million, and sales of five other drugs jumped by double digits. Those included HIV treatment Sustiva, at $386 million, and hepatitis B drug Baraclude, at $325 million.
The Food and Drug Administration this month rejected an application from Bristol-Myers and partner Eli Lilly and Co. for a new use for cancer drug Erbitux, for initial treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Bristol said they will not pursue that approval further.
Meanwhile, the FDA has extended until June 28 its deadline to decide whether to approve a key experimental drug Bristol has been developing with partner Pfizer Inc., Eliquis for preventing strokes and blood clots in patients with an irregular heartbeat.
A Type 2 diabetes drug called Forxiga, known chemically as dapagliflozin, is under FDA review and recently got a thumbs-up from medical advisers to the European Commission.
Bristol noted that it bought biopharmaceutical company Inhibitex Inc. for $2.5 billion in February. Inhibitex has a hepatitis C drug in mid-stage human testing called INX-189 that reduces the level of the virus in the blood and helps prevent resistance to treatment.
Also during the latest quarter, Bristol-Myers formed a partnership with the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. A team of researchers from the two are jointly testing a new treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in which lung tissue becomes scarred and stiff for unknown reasons, making breathing increasingly difficult.
In a regulatory filing, the New York-based company disclosed it received in March a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission related to an investigation under the Foreign Corrupts Practices Act. Bristol-Myers said it is cooperating with the investigation, which relates primarily to its sales and marketing practices in various unspecified countries.
In midday trading, shares of the company fell 26 cents to $34.03.