Eli Lilly Profit Beats Analysts’ Estimates on Key Drug Sales

Eli Lilly CEO: Revenue Recognition Not an Industry Issue

Eli Lilly & Co., seeking to rebound from declining sales, reported third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and raised its forecast for the year as revenue from key drugs exceeded expectations.

Adjusted earnings of 89 cents a share beat the average analyst estimate of 76 cents. Revenue rose 2 percent to $4.96 billion, compared with the $4.98 billion average projection of analysts. Lilly shares climbed 3.5 percent to $79.71 in early trading.

Sales of Lilly’s top treatment, Humalog insulin, were $705 million, little changed from a year earlier. Analysts had estimated $700 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales of erectile dysfunction drug Cialis brought in $566 million, compared with estimates for $553 million.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker is looking to refill its product pipeline after it lost patents on blockbusters including Cymbalta and Zyprexa. It had a high-profile failure this month when it said it would stop developing the cholesterol drug evacetrapib because it failed to benefit patients with heart disease. Analysts had pegged the treatment’s revenue at $632.7 million by 2020. 

On the other hand, Lilly’s diabetes pill Jardiance cut deaths from heart attacks and strokes in thousands of patients in a study, a first for any diabetes drug.

The drugmaker increased its 2015 profit forecast for to a range of $3.40 to $3.45 a share, excluding some items, up from $3.20 to $3.30. The revised outlook incorporated a charge of 5 cents a share associated with the decision to discontinue evacetrapib.

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