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Friday, September 01, 2006

Bristol-Myers Still Needs New Management

Stocks :(BMY)(PFE)

Bristol-Myer's shareholders with giddy because a federal judge has blocked the sales of a generic version of Plavix, a blood thinner that is one of BMY's big sellers. The suit is not over, so it remains to be seen how the issue was resolved. It is, however, a temporary stay of execution that allows the branded version to continue to bring in the cash.

Bristol-Myers had a relief rally, rising 6% to $22.94. The company has traded between about $20 and $26 this year.

The board at BMY has considered replacing the CEO due to the Plavix debacle, at least according to the Wall Street Journal. There had been talk of misconduct, by that seems to have faded. For now, anyway.

BMY revenue was flat for both the quarter ending June 30 and the six months. But, quarterly operating income for the June period went from over $1 billion last year to $667 million in 2006. The stock started its slide from $26 with the announcement of the quarterly numbers.

One lesson that large companies are learning is that when the CEO has two strikes on him a replacement is usually called for. Waiting for worse trouble is rarely a good idea. Pfizer learned the lesson recently and it stock has moved from below $23 in early July to nearly $28. The big news. A new CEO.

Wall St has lost its faith in Bristol-Myer's senior management. It's a good time to make a move.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own shares in companies that he writes about.

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