Lilly profit up 21 percent, topping expectations-WEB ONLY

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Second-quarter profit rose 21 percent at Eli Lilly and Co., helping the company beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts and raise its year-end profit forecast.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker earned $1.16 billion, or $1.06 per share, including a $105 million after-tax charge Lilly recorded to prepare for an expected legal settlement involving its bestseller Zyprexa.

Excluding that charge, Lilly would have earned $1.12 per share. On that basis, analysts expected Lilly to earn $1.02 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Revenue for the quarter was $5.29 billion, also exceeding analysts’ expectations.

“Lilly continues to deliver solid financial results notwithstanding the challenging global economic environment,” Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said in a statement. “Our business remained strong in the second quarter, with volume-driven revenue growth, good operating leverage and double-digit EPS growth.”

Lilly’s sales were helped by lung cancer drug Alimta, which achieved sales growth of 40 percent. The antidepressant Cymbalta saw its sales rise 14 percent. Sales of Humalog insulin rose 9 percent.

Lilly now expects to earn $4 to $4.30 per share this year, excluding the legal charge.

At the end of the first quarter, Lilly predicted it would earn $4.00 to $4.25 per share in profit this year.

Lilly said it is in advanced discussions with the attorneys general of several states that have accused Lilly of improper marketing of Zyprexa and have not participated in previous settlements.

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