AbbVie, the maker of the world’s best-selling drug, announced a share buyback of up to $7.5bn as it beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly earnings

The drugmaker, which makes Humira – an anti-inflammatory medicine that generates more revenue than any other drug – posted adjusted earnings of $3bn, or $1.87 per diluted share on revenues of $7.93bn.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $2.9bn, or $1.79 a share and revenues of $7.6bn on average.

“AbbVie is off to an excellent start in 2018, delivering first quarter revenue and EPS growth well ahead of expectations,” said Richard Gonzalez, chairman and chief executive.

Shares in AbbVie added 1.8 per cent in pre-market trading in New York.

The company raised its guidance for full-year adjusted earnings per share from $7.33-$7.43 to $7.66-$7.76.

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