April 27, 2017 / 2:54 PM / a year ago

BRIEF-AbbVie CEO says the tax reform announced yesterday, is encouraging: Conf Call

April 27 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc

* AbbVie CEO: “In the U.S., Humira grew 22.8 percent, driven by robust underlying demand, including prescription volume growth of 12 percent”

* AbbVie continues to expect mid-single-digit operational sales Humira growth in 2017 internationally despite impact from rival drugs and indirect biosimilar competition

* AbbVie says data readouts from 12 pivotal trials expected by the end of 2017: Conf Call

* AbbVie CFO: “For U.S. Humira, we expect sales growth in the second quarter in the mid to high teens”: Conf Call

* AbbVie CFO: “For Imbruvica, we expect U.S. sales growth in the second quarter to approach 35 percent”: Conf Call

* AbbVie CFO: “With respect to the tax rate, future quarters should be modeled at above 19 percent”: Conf Call

* AbbVie CEO: Generally speaking, the tax reform announced yesterday, is encouraging: Conf Call

* AbbVie CEO: Tax reform plan certainly will put us in a position where will be far more competitive to our foreign competitors: Conf Call

* AbbVie CEO “if we were to get tax reform where we could get better access or more cost-effective access to our offshore cash, we’re certainly going to be looking at ways to be able to appropriately deploy that cash”

* AbbVie CEO “returning cash to shareholders to reward them for their tremendous success that Humira has had and will continue to have going forward is a high priority for us”

* AbbVie CEO “oddly enough, as we continue to drive Humira and show the success with it, I think that increases that pressure”

* AbbVie CSO: “We remain confident in our program and don’t see any real read-through from the Lilly situation” when asked about Lilly’s CRL on its RA drug

* AbbVie CEO says does not anticipate any changes in Humira formulary positions in the United States in 2018

* AbbVie CEO sees that HCV patient volumes are still trending down although at a slower pace, so he thinks reaching some point of stability going forward

* AbbVie CFO says cash-on-hand at the end of 2016 was about $8.2 billion

* AbbVie CFO: “We’re incredibly encouraged that there is talk now about possibly allowing repatriation of cash in the tax-efficient manner”

* AbbVie CFO: “We think (allowing repatriation of cash) is absolutely the right thing to do, just not only for AbbVie and the industry but the country “

* AbbVie CFO hopes that (allowing repatriation of cash) is on permanent basis versus a onetime basis; if it is onetime and without limits, co would look to take advantage Further company coverage:

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