Eli Lilly hikes forecast after better-than-expected first quarter

April 24, 2018

Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. climbed in premarket trading Tuesday after the Indianapolis-based drugmaker hiked its 2018 forecast and reported first quarter earnings that beat expectations.

The company said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to range from $5.10 to $5.20 per share, with revenue coming in between $23.7 billion and $24.2 billion. That's up from the company's previous forecast for adjusted earnings of $4.81 to $4.91 per share on revenue of $23 billion to $23.5 billion.

Analysts are forecasting, on average, earnings of $4.88 per share on $23.43 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Lilly reported a first quarter profit of $1.22 billion, or $1.16 per share, after booking a $110.8 million, or 10 cent per-share, loss in last year's quarter.

The company said earnings adjusted for asset impairment costs came to $1.34 per share. Those results also exceeded the average expectation on Wall Street, which was $1.13 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

The drugmaker posted revenue of $5.7 billion in the period, up 9 percent from a year ago and also beating Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.53 billion.

Insulin drug Humalog was Lilly's top-selling drug in the quarter, with sales rising 12 percent over the first quarter of 2017, to $791.7 million. Sales of chemotherapy drug Alimta rose 2 percent, to $499.6 million. Sales of erectile dysfunction medication Cialis drooped 7 percent, to $495.4 million.

Lilly shares gained $1.35, to $81.55 each, before markets opened Tuesday. The stock had fallen 5 percent since the beginning of the year.

"Lilly delivered strong financial results in the first quarter, fueled by revenue growth of new products and continued productivity gains that together resulted in robust earnings growth and an improved financial outlook for the year," Lilly CEO David A. Ricks said in written remarks. "We are in the early stages of a new growth era, driven by the strong uptake of our new products, ongoing margin expansion, and the momentum we are producing in our pipeline. Lilly remains poised to deliver more innovation for patients and increased value for stakeholders."



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