Author: Don Obrien

Abbvie Jumps After Raising Dividend, Annual Profit Forecast

By Dhirendra Tripathi – AbbVie stock (NYSE:ABBV) climbed more than 4% Friday after the drugmaker raised its dividend, and also lifted its outlook for annual profit for the third time after it narrowly beat sales and profit forecasts in the third quarter.

The company hiked its dividend for 2022 by 8.5%, beginning with a payout in February.

AbbVie now expects 2021 adjusted profit per share of $12.65 at the midpoint, compared to its prior expectation of $12.57 at the center of the range.

The company has been focusing on gaining expanded approvals for Skyrizi and Rinvoq, launched in 2019, as it prepares for competition from lower-cost biosimilar versions of Humira in 2023 after it settled patent disputes with rivals over the drug.

Abbvie would like Skyrizi and Rinvoq to emulate the success of its blockbuster drug Humira over the next few years.

Skyrizi injection is used for treatment of plaque psoriasis and the company wants approval to administer it to patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Rinvoq is given to patients of severe atopic dermatitis and the company is seeking approvals to give it to those suffering from active ulcerative colitis.

Humira, AbbVie’s injectable biologic for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is the world’s largest selling medicine with sales of $19.83 billion in 2020 alone. The drug contributed to over 43% of the company’s revenue in 2020. Sales of the drug in the U.S. alone notched up $16.11 billion in 2020.

Around two months back, the Food and Drug Administration forced Abbvie to carry even sterner warning on Rinvoq.

Skyrizi sales jumped over 83%, to $796 million, in the September quarter. Sales from Rinvoq more than doubled to $453 million.

Total sales at AbbVie rose over 11%, to $14.34 billion. Adjusted profit per share rose about 18%, to $3.33.

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