Lilly sales, profit drop but beat analysts' expectations

July 24, 2014

Second-quarter sales and profit swooned at Eli Lilly and Co., but the drugmaker beat the lowered expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Indianapolis-based Lilly lost 17 percent of its revenue during the quarter, compared with the same period a year ago, as U.S. patents expired on two of its bestselling drugs: Cymbalta in December and Evista in March.

Lilly pulled in $4.94 billion during the quarter, slightly higher than the $4.90 billion analysts were expecting, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Profit fell 39 percent, to $733.5 million. Earnings per share fell to 68 cents per share from $1.16.

Analysts expected earnings per share of 65 cents in the most recent quarter.

In a press release, Lilly said it was able to keep profit larger by reducing operating expenses 11 percent during the quarter.

“Lilly's second-quarter results reflect a substantial decline in revenue and earnings resulting from recent patent expirations,” CEO John Lechleiter said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, new product approvals and impending launches give us great confidence that Lilly is poised for growth in the years ahead.”

During the second quarter, Lilly launched a new cancer drug, Cyramza, onto the U.S. market. It is approved to treat gastric cancer.

Also, Lilly and its partner, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, won approval from European regulators to launch Jardiance, an anti-diabetes medicine.

Lilly lowered its full-year profit forecast 5 cents a share, to a range of $2.67 to $2.75. That was due to a $45 million drug development agreement it signed this month with U.K.-based Immunocore Ltd.


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