Financial Results and Eli Lilly and Co. and Public Companies and Health Care & Life Sciences and Life Science & Biotech

Lilly's second-quarter profits surge 16 percent

July 22, 2010

Eli Lilly and Co.’s profits spiked 16 percent in the second quarter and the company raised its forecast for the rest of the year.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker recorded profits of $1.3 billion, or $1.22 per share, during the three months ended June 30. Excluding a $27 million charge for severance payments to employees Lilly is laying off, the company’s earnings per share were $1.24.

On that basis, Wall Street analysts expected Lilly to earn just $1.10 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial Network.

Lilly’s revenue for the quarter rose 9 percent to $5.7 billion, also beating analysts’ expectations of $5.6 billion.

Sales growth in the quarter was led by Lilly’s lung cancer drug Alimta (up 43 percent), followed by its antidepressant Cymbalta (up 17 percent) and its anti-impotence pill Cialis (up 15 percent). Lilly’s bestseller, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, saw its sales rise 5 percent.

"Lilly continued to deliver solid financial results in the second quarter, driven by volume-based revenue gains and ongoing cost-containment efforts that resulted in double-digit earnings growth," Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said in a statement.

He added, “This strong financial performance enables us to fund our R&D pipeline of nearly 70 clinical stage assets and make strategic acquisitions in order to deliver an increased number of innovative medicines to patients in the future."

Lilly’s lack of new medicines to replace Zyprexa and Cymbalta, which will lose their patent protection in 2011 and 2013, respectively, has spooked investors. Lilly’s shares have essentially treaded water this year, falling 2 percent to $34.95 apiece.

Lilly no longer gives quarterly profit forecasts. But in April, it said it expected to earn $4.40 to $4.55 per share this year, excluding special items but including a 35-cent-per-share hit from the new health reform law.

Thursday, the company raised its forecast by a dime a share, to a range of $4.50 to $4.65, excluding special items.

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