AbbVie Q1 Earnings to Shine Light on Loss of Humira Patent

Sales of Humira, which accounted for more than one-third of the company's revenue in 2022, are expected to nosedive

Closeup of AbbVie corporate office building.

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AbbVie (ABBV), the maker of the best-selling drug of the 21st century, will probably say earnings plummeted in the first quarter after it lost the exclusive right to market Humira, its blockbuster biologic.

Key Takeaways

  • Earnings per share (EPS) at AbbVie are expected to fall to $1.50 from $2.51 a year ago.
  • In January, the company lost patent protection on its top-selling drug, Humira, which has been protected from competition from generics for 20 years.
  • Investors will look to newer immunology offerings, Skyrizi and Renvoq, to fill the gap.

AbbvVie is expected to report net income fell 39% year-over-year to $2.72 billion, or $1.55 per share, according to estimates compiled by Visible Alpha. Revenue probably dropped almost 10% to $12.23 billion. AbbVie reports results before markets open Thursday.

AbbVie lost patent protection on its star drug adalimumab, branded as Humira, in January. Humira was the world’s top-selling drug in 2022, with sales of $21.2 billion. Since being approved by the FDA in 2002, Humira has generated more than $200 billion in revenue for AbbVie, making it one of the best-selling drugs of all time. Management expects losing the exclusive rights to market adalimumab would cause a 37% decline in sales of Humira, a drug that accounted for 37% of the company's revenue in 2022.

In 2019, with Humira's patent expiration nearing, AbbVie launched two new drugs targeting autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, Skyrizi and Rinvoq. Skyrizi sales totaled $1.58 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, a 76% increase over the year before. Rinvoq sales rose almost 50% to $770 million over the same period.

“We have a solid foundation which will allow us to absorb the U.S. Humira loss of exclusivity, return to strong top-line growth in 2025 and drive top-tier financial performance over the long term," said CEO, Richard A. Gonzalez, in AbbVie's fourth-quarter earnings release.

AbbVie stock has returned just over 3% year-to-date, outperforming the broader healthcare sector, which is flat for the year.

Total year-to-date return of AbbVie stock, the S&P 500, and the S&P 500 Healthcare Sector, as of April 25, 2023.
AbbVie Key Metrics
  Q1 2023 (est.)   Q1 2022  Q1 2021
 Earnings per share ($)  1.55  2.51  1.99
 Revenue ($B)  12.23  13.54  12.94
 Humira sales ($B)  3.5  4.7  4.8
Source: Visible Alpha
Article Sources
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  1. Visible Alpha. "Financial Data."

  2. AbbVie. "Full Year Q4 2023 Earnings."

  3. New York Times. "How a Drug Company Made $114 Billion by Gaming the U.S. Patent System."

  4. Reuters. "AbbVie sees 37% drop in Humira sales this year as biosimilars hit U.S. market."

  5. Abbvie. "Form 10-K for Abbvie Inc. filed 02/17/2023." Page 2.

  6. AbbVie. "AbbVie Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2022 Financial Results."

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