Overall, A Nice Quarter For Kenilworth — But BMS’s Opdivo® Has Widened Its Lead Over Keytruda®

Just as we long-said it would, Opdivo® has really started to pull away in Q3 2015 revenues, as its deeper and broader approvals kick in. To be sure, there is still a lot of room for Merck’s Keytruda® to be a great oncology franchise, in terms of sales, but it is unlikely to ever catch BMS, now. [BMS Q3 2015 release — from which the chart at right is derived.] That’s just my gut reaction, based on three quarters of global full on-market sales.

As I wrote in a comment this morning, earlier, I was a little too optimistic about currencies — guessing a 7 per cent down bubble, when in fact they came in at. . . eight. So it goes — it was simply a guess, afterall. Here is a bit from Merck’s newly-increased fully year 2015 guidance — which is truly welcome news. So — all in all, a pretty solid Kenilworth quarter:

. . . .Merck has raised its full-year 2015 non-GAAP EPS range to be between $3.55 and $3.60, including a negative impact from foreign exchange. The range excludes acquisition- and divestiture-related costs, costs related to restructuring programs and certain other items. The company also has raised its full-year 2015 GAAP EPS range to be between $1.64 and $1.74.

At current exchange rates, the company now anticipates full-year 2015 revenues to be between $39.2 billion and $39.8 billion, including a negative impact from foreign exchange and approximately $1 billion of net lost sales from acquisitions and divestitures.

In addition, the company continues to expect full-year 2015 non-GAAP marketing and administrative expenses to be below 2014 levels and R&D expenses to be modestly above 2014 levels.

The company continues to anticipate its full-year 2015 non-GAAP tax rate will be in the range of 23 to 24 percent, not including a 2015 R&D tax credit. . . .

The above is likely what is driving MRK’s NYSE share price increase today — and for the record, BMS is up, proportionately more — because (of course) Optivo contributes proportionately more, to BMS’s overall results — and it is, as I say — pulling away. Onward!

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