Eli Lilly earnings rise sharply but narrowly miss analysts' expectations

January 31, 2017

Eli Lilly and Co. said a host of recent product launches helped boost fourth-quarter results, lifting profit 62 percent. The performance was within the company's earlier guidance but fell slightly short of analysts' expectations.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker on Tuesday morning reported profit of $771.8 million or 73 cents a share. On a basis that factored out certain one-time expenses, the company earned 95 cents a share, 2 cents short of Wall Street's expectation.

Revenue for the quarter was $5.76 billion, up 7 percent, helped by sales of new products, including the diabetes drugs Trulicity and Jardiance, the cancer drug Cyramza and the psoriasis drug Taltz. That helped offset slowing sales of older products, including the cancer drug Alimta (down 14 percent), the antidepressant Cymbalta (down 19 percent) and the antipsychotic Zyprexa (down 33 percent).

The company said it made strides in its drug pipeline, with "approvals of new products, along with new indications for existing products, in the core areas of diabetes, oncology and immunology."

“We expect this momentum to continue in 2017 and remain focused on launching new products, improving productivity and advancing our pipeline as we work to bring life-changing medicines to patients,” said a written statement from David Ricks, who became Lilly's president and CEO on Jan. 1.

Lilly said it still expects 2017 revenue between $21.8 billion and $22.3 billion. It expects earnings per share between $2.69 to $2.79.

The company recognized special charges of $147.6 million in the fourth quarter, primarily related to severance costs from trimming about 500 workers and the integration costs related to the acquisition of Novartis Animal Health.

Operating expenses in the fourth quarter—which cover such areas as research and development, marketing and administration—remained flat at $3.2 billion.

For all of 2016, revenue increased to $21.2 billion, up 6 percent from 2015. That was at the high end of the guidance Lilly issued in December. The company reported full-year profit of $2.7 billion, up 14 percent.

In recent months, Lilly announced an agreement to acquire CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for $960 million. It also announced it would add lasmiditan, in development for the acute treatment of migraine, to its Phase 3 pipeline. It also completed the acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.’s U.S. feline, canine and rabies vaccines portfolio.



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