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The Way Forward for Bristol-Myers

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) performed encouragingly in the third quarter of 2013 with both earnings and revenues surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The impressive performance in the quarter was primarily due to strong sales of the new drugs especially in the cancer and diabetes fields. Bristol-Myers has been trying to offset the declining sales of some of its important products by bringing in new products through in-licensing deals. We are also impressed by the company’s efforts to develop its pipeline.

Bristol-Myers is looking to strengthen its product portfolio by launching new drugs to make up for the loss of revenues following the genericization of key drugs, especially blood thinner Plavix. Bristol-Myers co-developed Plavix with Sanofi (SNY).

In order to improve efficiencies and sustain long-term growth, the biopharmaceutical company made multiple changes in its senior management team. Bristol-Myers expanded the role of Giovanni Caforio. Caforio will now oversee the company’s commercial operations across the globe. Previously, he served as the president of the U.S. unit of the company. Murdo Gordon will takeover Caforio’s U.S. role following the latter’s elevation. Caforio will be Gordon’s boss.

Bristol-Myers made further changes to its management team. The company has decided to expand Charles Bancroft’s role also. Bancroft will henceforth be responsible for the company’s financial operations across the globe. He will also be responsible for the entire financial planning and business development and strategy to sustain long-term growth. Prior to the expansion of his responsibilities, Bancroft served the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Caforio as well as Bancroft will continue to be part of the senior management team of Lamberto Andreotti, the chief executive officer of the company. Andreotti will oversee the work of both Caforio and Bancroft. The changes to the top brass are in line with Bristol-Myers’ efforts to improve efficiencies going forward.

Bristol-Myers carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ) currently look attractive. Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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