Gilead stock falls as COVID-19 drug sales dwindle

Gilead Sciences Inc. reported a mixed quarter late Thursday, with sales below Wall Street expectations, even as sales of its antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19 came in above forecasts.

Gilead
GILD,
-0.93%

reported first-quarter earnings of $1.7 billion, or $1.37 a share, compared with $1.5 billion, or $1.23 a share, in the year ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $2.08, up from $1.68 a share a year ago.

Sales rose 16% to $6.4 billion, mostly due to sales of Veklury, the brand name for antiviral drug remdesivir, the company said.

Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of $2.08 a share on sales of $6.74 billion, according to FactSet. Gilead stock fell 2.5% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results, after closing off 0.9% at $63.84.

“2021 is a pivotal year for Gilead, with key milestones across our virology and oncology portfolios,” Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to advancing our pipeline of promising therapies in the coming months.”

Gilead said it expects the pandemic to continue to affect its business, and that the recovery from the pandemic will be “more gradual” and vary according to geography.

Sales of Gilead’s Veklury totaled $1.5 billion, a decline from the previous quarter, when Gilead sold nearly $2 billion of the drug targeted for use in patients experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Sales of Veklury “will continue to be subject to significant volatility and uncertainty,” the company said in the statement. The company kept its full-year guidance for product sales excluding Veklury between $21.7 billion and $22.1 billion, full-year Veklury sales between $2 billion and $3 billion, and total product sales for 2021 between $23.7 billion and $25.1 billion.

It kept its adjusted EPS guidance for the year between $6.75 and $7.45, and tweaked its GAAP EPS guidance to between $4.75 and $5.45.

Analysts on average expected Gilead to sell $1.44 billion worth of Veklury, according to FactSet. Gilead recently promised to donate 450,000 doses of Veklury — which received a full approval from the Food and Drug Administration in October — to India to handle a wave of COVID-19 in that country.

While Gilead has received notoriety in the past year for its efforts in COVID-19, the bulk of its revenue comes from drugs to treat HIV and AIDS.

Gilead stock has cooled off after spiking amid excitement for its COVID-19 drug. Shares have declined 23% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index
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has gained 44%.

Claudia Assis in San Francisco contributed to this report.