IBJNews

Lilly's quarterly profit tumbles, but tops Wall Street estimates

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Profit fell at Eli Lilly and Co. in the fourth quarter but not as much as Wall Street analysts were expecting.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker announced Tuesday morning that it earned $858.2 million, or 77 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, a 27-percent plunge from the profit it earned in the same quarter a year ago. That’s because Lilly had a full quarter of generic competition for its cancer drug Gemzar, which saw its patent expire in November 2010, and also lost its U.S. and European patents for its bestseller Zyprexa in October 2011.

Lilly also withdrew its severe sepsis drug Xigris from the market late last year, after a new clinical trial showed that it delivered no benefit to patients. The withdrawal shaved 5 cents per share off Lilly’s profit.

Excluding that charge, as well as charges for layoffs Lilly engineered to reduce its costs, the company would have earned 87 cents per share in the fourth quarter, down from $1.11 per share in the same quarter last year. On that basis, analysts were expecting Lilly to earn 81 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said the company saw better-than-expected sales growth for key drugs—the antidepressant Cymbalta, the insulins Humulin and Humalog, the anti-iimpotence pill Cialis and the lung cancer drug Alimta. Lilly also posted strong growth in Japan, emerging markets and its animal health business.

“Lilly’s fourth quarter results not only reflect the impact of recent patent expirations, but also highlight the growth opportunities that will enable us to remain a strong and successful company in the years ahead,” Lechleiter said in a prepared statement. “Although we anticipated the sales erosion in the fourth quarter resulting from the loss of U.S. patent exclusivity for Zyprexa in late October, I am encouraged by the strong performance of many other areas of our business.”

Revenue for the quarter fell 2 percent to $6.05 billion. Analysts were expecting $5.90 billion.

For all of 2011, Lilly’s revenue rose 5 percent to $24.3 billion, compared with the previous year, but its full-year profit fell 14 percent to $4.3 billion, or $3.90 per share.

Excluding special charges, Lilly would have earned $4.41 per share in 2011, which exceeded its previous profit forecasts of $4.30 to $4.35 per share.

Lilly’s stock price peaked right after the first of the year but has fallen 6 percent since Lilly announced that its 2012 would fall more than analysts expected, to just $3.10 to $3.20 per share. Lilly reaffirmed that profit forecast in its announcement Tuesday.

Lilly’s shares rose 51 cents Tuesday morning, or 1.3 percent, to $39.76 each.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

  2. It's good to hear that the festival is continuing to move forward beyond some of the narrow views that seemed to characterize the festival and that I and others had to deal with during our time there.

  3. Corner Bakery announced in March that it had signed agreements to open its first restaurants in Indianapolis by the end of the year. I have not heard anything since but will do some checking.

  4. "The project still is awaiting approval of a waiver filed with the Federal Aviation Administration that would authorize the use of the land for revenue-producing and non-aeronautical purposes." I wonder if the airport will still try to keep from paying taxes on these land tracts, even though they are designated as "non aeronatical?"

  5. How is this frivolous? All they are asking for is medical screenings to test the effects of their exposure. Sounds like the most reasonable lawsuit I've read about in a while. "may not have commited it" which is probably why they're suing to find out the truth. Otherwise they could just ask Walmart, were you negligent? No? OK, thanks for being honest.

ADVERTISEMENT