July 25 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's quarterly results matched Wall Street forecasts, but cost-cutting and big sales gains for newer drugs only partly offset plunging sales of its Plavix blood clot preventer and Avapro blood-pressure medicine, now facing generic rivals.
Bristol-Myers on Wednesday reported net earnings of $808 million, or 38 cents per share, down from $1.31 billion, or 52 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding special items, the U.S. drugmaker earned 48 cents per share, in line with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Global sales fell 18 percent to $4.44 billion. The average Wall Street forecast was $4.45 billion. The sharp decline follows the loss of U.S. patent protection in May for Plavix, once the world's second-biggest-selling drug.
Reporting By Ransdell Pierson; editing by John Wallace