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AbbVie's (ABBV) Q4 Earnings Surpass Estimates, Sales Miss

·4 min read

AbbVie Inc. ABBV reported earnings of $3.31 per share for the fourth quarter of 2021, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.29 and exceeding the guided range of $3.24 to $3.28 per share. Earnings rose 13.4% year over year.

The company’s revenues of $14.89 billion slightly missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $15.03 billion. Sales rose 7.4% year over year on a reported basis and 7.5% on an operational basis. Strong demand across all segments drives sales.

Shares of AbbVie were up 1% in pre-market trading on the earnings beat. AbbVie’s shares have gained 32.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s 18.5% increase.

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Quarter in Detail

In immunology, key drug Humira recorded a year-over-year sales increase of 3.5% on an operational basis to $5.33 billion. Sales in the United States climbed 6% to $4.55 billion. However, Humira sales in the ex-U.S. markets were down 8.8% on an operational basis to $781 million. International sales were affected by the launch of several direct biosimilar drugs in Europe by other pharma companies, including Amgen AMGN, Sandoz and Biogen BIIB.

Amgen, Sandoz and Biogen were the first to start commercializing Humira-biosimilar in Europe in 2018. Amgen, Sandoz and Biogen have also received FDA approvals for Humira-biosimilar but commercialization is expected to start after the loss of exclusivity for Humira in 2023.

New immunology drugs, Skyrizi and Rinvoq registered sales of $895 million and $517 million, respectively. In the previous quarter, Skyrizi and Rinvoq had recorded sales of $796 million and $453, respectively. Strong sequential growth in sales can be attributed to the strong uptake.

AbbVie’s oncology/hematology (including Imbruvica and Venclexta) sales rose 4.7% on an operational basis to $1.87 billion in the quarter, driven by the strong growth of Venclexta sales, partially offset by lower U.S. sales of Imbruvica.

Fourth-quarter net revenues from Imbruvica were $1.39 billion, down 2.7% year over year. AbbVie has developed the drug in partnership with Johnson & Johnson JNJ. AbbVie shares international profits earned from Imbruvica with J&J.

U.S. sales of J&J-partnered Imbruvica grossed $1.11 billion, down 4.3% from the year-ago figure. Increasing competition from newer therapies and lower new patient starts are likely to have hurt sales of the drug during the quarter. AbbVie’s share of profit from international sales of the J&J-partnered drug rose 4.6% to $271 million.

The company’s leukemia drug, Venclexta generated revenues of $488 million in the reported quarter, reflecting 34% year-over-year growth on an operational basis.

AbbVie’s aesthetics portfolio sales were up 22.8% on an operational basis to $1.41 billion on the back of robust demand for Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm. Sales of Botox cosmetics rose 26.6% on an operational basis to $626 million while Juvederm’s sales were up 29.8% operationally to $432 million.

Sales from the neuroscience portfolio increased 19% operationally to $1.65 billion, driven by Botox Therapeutic and Vraylar. While Botox Therapeutic sales rose 18.1% to $671 million, sales of Vraylar were up 21.8% to $489 million. AbbVie’s newly launched oral migraine drug, Ubrelvy, generated $183 million in revenues, compared with $162 million in the third quarter of 2021.

Eye care portfolio sales gained 3.9% on an operational basis to $960 million. Sales of a key drug in the portfolio, Restasis, increased 5.9% year over year to $364 million.

Adjusted SG&A expenses increased 7.1% to $3.31 billion while adjusted R&D expenses were $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter, rising 2.7% year over year. Adjusted operating margin represented 49.3% of sales.

Full-Year Results

AbbVie reported revenues of $56.2 billion, up 22.7% year over year. The company’s adjusted earnings for 2020 were $12.70 per share, up 20.3% from the year-ago period.

2022 Guidance

AbbVie issued EPS guidance for 2022. The company expects adjusted EPS to be in the range of $14.00-$14.20, suggesting year-over-year growth of 10.2%-11.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings per share is pegged at $14.05.

AbbVie Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

AbbVie Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
AbbVie Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

AbbVie Inc. price-eps-surprise | AbbVie Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank

Currently, AbbVie is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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