New drugs propel Lilly profit beyond expectations

July 24, 2007
Charges from two acquisitions caused second-quarter profits at Eli Lilly and Co. to slip. Excluding those expenses and other adjustments, Lilly's profit zoomed past Wall Street's estimates.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker earned 90 cents per share, excluding unusual items. Analysts expected 82 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial. Lilly earned 76 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

To figure its results, Lilly excluded expenses it incurred in buying Hypnion Inc. and Ivy Animal Health earlier this year. For comparison's sake, the company also assumed it fully owned its joint-venture partner, Icos Corp., throughout 2006, even though Lilly didn't acquire the company until January 2007.

Without those adjustments, Lilly earned 61 cents per share, or $664 million, a 20 percent drop from the same quarter last year.

Lilly's sales in its most recent quarter jumped 20 percent to $4.6 billion. Some of its strongest growth came from its nine newest products, such as Alimta, Byetta, Cymbalta and Forteo.

Collectively, sales of those drugs rose 61 percent and accounted for a third of Lilly's total sales.

Lilly raised its 2007 sales and profit forecast. It now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share in the range of $3.40 to $3.50. Excluding any special adjustments, Lilly expects to earn from $2.75 to $2.85 per share.
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