April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by cost cuts, but sales fell short of Wall Street expectations.
The company on Tuesday said it earned $937 million, or 56 cents per share in the first quarter ending March 31, helped by gains from the recent sale of its diabetes drugs to longtime partner AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN - news) . That compared with $609 million, or 37 cents per share, in the year earlier period.
Excluding special items, Bristol-Myers earned 46 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting 43 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, Editing by Franklin Paul)