Sanofi Lifts Forecast as Vaccines, Eczema Drug Provide Fuel

(Bloomberg) -- Sanofi modestly boosted its 2018 outlook after reporting its first quarterly earnings increase in more than a year, showing that the company’s strategy may be moving in the right direction again. The shares surged the most in two years.

  • Earnings per share will rise 4 percent to 5 percent this year. The low end of the range is 1 percentage point higher than Sanofi’s previous forecast. Sanofi’s third-quarter earnings -- the first gain since the second quarter of last year -- beat analyst estimates.

Key Insights

  • The results show that a drug Sanofi is relying on as a key driver -- Dupixent, for a severe form of eczema -- is living up to its promise with sales of 225 million euros ($255 million), slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates.
  • The company needs new products because older stalwarts are slumping: Diabetes treatment Lantus plunged 18 percent in the quarter amid fierce competition in the U.S. Sanofi is counting on $16 billion of takeovers, including its purchase of Bioverativ, to help spur growth.
  • Sanofi is also getting a lift from its vaccine business, whose sales are now projected to grow in the mid- to high-single-digit range in the second half, slightly better than previous forecasts, the new finance chief, Jean-Baptiste Chasseloup de Chatillon, told reporters on a call.

Market Reaction

  • Sanofi gained as much as 5.1 percent, the most most since November 2016, in early trading in Paris.

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