Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Earnings Call Insights: Tax Rate Drop and PD-1 Readout

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Tax Rate Drop

Gregg Gilbert – Merrill Lynch: Two I will ask them upfront. Charlie, can you talk a little bit more about the massive tax change at least massive relative to what I think market we are expecting going forward. And make sure while in the right place in terms of the ongoing sustainable rate and perhaps a commercial question on ELIQUIS, J&J talked about strong Q2 access for Zorelto and even though you have the best profile your and Pfizer’s plan the pay up to ensure that access is similar to the competition or do you have another strategy in that regard?

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Charles Bancroft – EVP and CFO: It’s Charlie. As I mentioned in my comments there are three main reasons for the drop in our overall tax rate. Let me go through each one and take you through, which ones are sustainable as we think about our rate going forward. So regard to the R&D tax credit, which we have a double dip in 2013, as we have the 2012 benefit as well. Obviously, the piece that relates to 2012 is not sustainable going forward. As we talked about PLAVIX, PLAVIX is now out of our business, so that benefit we also see going forward, but remember earnings mix will always play a role as we think about our tax rate. And then lastly, the restructuring we did that had a positive impact on our earnings mix. We expect that this impact will be sustainable going forward.

Lamberto Andreotti – CEO: As to your question on ELIQUIS, well, Giovanni will address specific question. Let me repeat a couple of things about ELIQUIS and add a few things. First of all, as I said before, the approval of ELIQUIS last year was a significant accomplishment for us. We had the approvals in all those geographies, U.S., Europe, Japan, Canada, South Korea all in just over one month’s time. This is an achievement per se. And as I said before, we continue to believe that based on the data from our clinical trials, ELIQUIS has a real differentiated profile and we were very encouraged to see that the approvals in different parts of the world reflects the risk reduction versus warfarin in all three important outcomes of stroke reduction, major bleeding (indiscernible). So good clinical data and labels reflecting that clinical data. This unique and differentiated profile of ELIQUIS will resonate, we believe so, and will position us well against warfarin and against all other anticoagulants including the one you mentioned. We are working to secure pricing and access, and as I said, launch is happening in this very weeks, in these very days. So one last point, the quality of the product as I said, there is strength of the label as I said, there is a strength of the label as I’ve said, but there is also the fact that we both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer have a strong experience and we are leader in the cardiovascular, this is all of this make me very confident that we will be very successful. Giovanni you don’t you continue from here.