Gilead Boosts Outlook Even as Sales Slide and CEO Hunt Continues

(Bloomberg) -- Gilead Sciences Inc. reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter results and boosted its earnings outlook, as the biotechnology giant battles rivals for some of its biggest drugs and hunts for a new chief executive.

  • Revenue in the quarter was $5.6 billion, topping the $5.37 billion expected by Wall Street analysts but trailing the $6.5 billion brought in during the same quarter a year earlier.

Key Insights

  • Sales of Gilead’s hepatitis C treatments topped estimates, with Harvoni bringing in $311 million and Epclusa logging $477 million in sales, but were well behind year-ago levels. Rival AbbVie Inc. has cut into sales with a cheaper competitor.
  • A bet on cancer immunotherapy with last year’s $11.9 billion takeover of Kite Pharma has yet to pay off. The drug acquired in the deal, Yescarta, brought in $75 million, missing the average analyst estimate of $88.39 million.
  • Sales of new HIV drug Biktarvy, a potential bulwark against declines in other key drugs, totaled $386 million, topping the average estimate of $324.75 million.
  • CEO John Milligan and Chairman John Martin revealed plans to step down earlier this year. Gilead offered no new information on the search in its earnings release.

Market Reaction

Gilead shares rose 1.9 percent in late trading in New York. The company’s stock had fallen 4.2 percent this year through Thursday’s close, sliding amid a wider skid in biotech stocks.

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