AbbVie cuts costs, turns profit that meets 4Q expectations

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – Soaring U.S. sales of the blockbuster anti-inflammatory drug Humira helped AbbVie post a profit of $1.52-billion for the fourth quarter and match Wall Street’s earnings expectations.

The drugmaker said Friday that U.S. sales of Humira jumped 21 per cent in the quarter, driven by growth in all of its major treatment categories: rheumatology, dermatology and gastroenterology. Worldwide, Humira brought in $3.72 billion in sales during the quarter and more than $14 billion during the year.

Cost-cutting also helped AbbVie Inc. in the quarter. The North Chicago, Illinois, company’s selling, general and administrative expenses dropped 48 per cent to $1.74 billion.

AbbVie also pulled in $554 million from its hepatitis C treatment Viekira, which launched late in 2014.

Overall, AbbVie recorded adjusted earnings of $1.13 per share in the final quarter of 2015, while revenue climbed more than 17 per cent to $6.4 billion.

Analysts forecast, on average, $6.45 billion in revenue, according to Zacks Investment Research

AbbVie booked an $810-million loss in the final quarter of 2014, as a $2.2-billion breakup fee and other expenses from its abandoned merger with Shire PLC weighed on results.

For 2016, the drugmaker expects adjusted earnings of between $4.90 to $5.10 per share.

Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $5.01 per share, according to FactSet.

Shares of AbbVie dropped 2.2 per cent, or $1.24, to $53.62 in morning trading Friday. The stock has fallen almost 6 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has declined slightly more than 7 per cent.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ABBV at


Keywords: AbbVie, Earnings Report