Humira Helps AbbVie Exceed Wall Street Expectations

Illinois-based AbbVie announced earnings on Friday that passed Wall Street expectations. The biotech company said it could earn up to $1.5 billion more annually from Humira its popular rheumatoid arthritis drug, which already represents nearly 50% of the company’s overall sales. Officials said that Humira’s sales would increase as new uses for the drug are approved.

During the first quarter of 2013, sales for Humira jumped 16% from the same quarter one year ago, which helped the company report earnings and revenue higher than what analysts on Wall Street had projected. Results from this quarter, were the first earnings since the company split from Abbott Laboratories its parent company. Chief Financial Officer Richard Gonzalez expects the sales of Humira to increase each year to a high of $1.5 billion more, as new approvals to treat other immune and inflammatory ailments are approved.

AbbVie’s dependence on just Humira is not too concerning to company officials yet since the drug remains very strong in the market and the company has patent extension and reformulation strategies in line.

AbbVie shares were higher at Friday’s close by 3.6% to close at $45.84 for the week. The stock has increased in 2013 by 34%, since it first starting trading last January. The forecast for profit for the full year was reaffirmed by AbbVie of $3.03 per share, which excludes any one-time items.

Earnings of 68 cents per share excluding any onetime items exceeded the estimates of analysts by a single cent. Net income for the company was $968 million, while revenues were $4.33 billion, which beat Wall Street estimates of $4.3 billion.