NEW YORK (AP) — Strong sales of blockbuster blood thinner Plavix helped Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. post a sizable fourth-quarter profit Tuesday, rebounding from a loss in a charge-laden quarter a year earlier and beating Wall Street’s profit forecast.The New York-based maker of Abilify for bipolar disorder and Avapro for high blood pressure reported net income of $1.24 billion, or 63 cents per share, in the October-December quarter. A year ago, Bristol-Myers reported a net loss of $89 million, or 5 cents per share, due to large charges for restructuring and losses from investments in subprime securities. Excluding a host of one-time items, fourth-quarter profit would have totaled 46 cents per share. Those items included $260 million in payments to partner biotechnology company Exelixis Inc., $151 million for restructuring and an $870 million gain after expenses for selling Bristol’s ImClone Systems Inc. stock after losing its bid to buy ImClone to rival Eli Lilly & Co. Revenue totaled $5.25 billion, up 4 percent from $5.06 billion in 2007’s fourth quarter. Unfavorable currency exchange rates pulled down revenue by 4 percent, the company said. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings per share of 41 cents and revenue of $5.43 billion. Pharmaceutical sales totaled $4.5 billion, led by Plavix at $1.47 billion, Abilify at $606 million, Avapro at $316 million and HIV drugs Reyataz and Sustiva at $329 million and $300 million, respectively. Sales from the Mead Johnson Nutrition division, the maker of Enfamil formula, were up 6 percent at $707 million. “We’ve executed with speed and rigor against our strategy. Results this quarter continued to be strong, capping off an outstanding year,” Chief Executive Jim Cornelius said in a statement. “Our favorable cash position expedites our business development efforts,” he added.Bristol-Myers said it has a total of $8 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand, and its net cash position improved by $300 million to $1.5 billion in the quarter. The company forecast a lower 2009 profit of $1.85 to $2 per share, excluding one-time items, or $1.58 to $1.73 including items. Analysts on average expect earnings of $1.95 per share excluding items. For the full year, net income totaled $5.25 billion, or $2.63 per share. That was nearly 2 1/2 times the $2.17 billion, or $1.09 per share, profit for 2007. Revenue rose 13 percent, to $20.6 billion from $18.2 billion in 2007.