A sign stands outside a Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Cambridge
A sign stands outside a Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 20, 2021.

Bristol Myers Squibb Co on Wednesday reported bigger second-quarter profit than expected as sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Revlimid did not drop as steeply as feared despite competition from generic drugs.

The U.S. drugmaker cut its annual sales forecast slightly to $46 billion due to the impact of the strong dollar, sending its shares down 2.7% to $71.72 before the opening bell.

The profit beat was unlikely to excite investors since it was driven by products that do not have market exclusivity anymore, and newer treatments are still slow to launch, said Wells Fargo analyst Mohit Bansal.

Bristol Myers reported second-quarter revenue of $11.89 billion, up from $11.7 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected $11.4 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Sales of Revlimid fell 22% to $2.5 billion in the quarter, still above analyst estimates of around $2.1 billion.

Bristol Myers finance chief David Elkins said in an interview that multiple new generic competitors to Revlimid will enter the market in the third quarter and the company is not raising its full-year sales projections for the drug.

Sales of blood thinner Eliquis, which Bristol shares with Pfizer and the cancer immunotherapy Opdivo were basically in line with analysts' estimate at $3.2 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.

The company said profit in the quarter rose to $4.2 billion, or $1.93 a share, excluding certain items. That compares with $3.7 billion, or $1.63 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had projected earnings per share of $1.80.