Eli Lilly said earnings for the three months ending in December came in at $1.33 per share, up 16.6% from the same period last year but just shy of the consensus forecast of $1.34. Group revenues, Eli Lilly said, were $6.438 billion, up nearly 4% from last year and ahead of the $6.28 billion forecast.
Looking into 2019, however, Eli Lilly said full year earnings would be in the range of $5.55 to $5.65 per share on a non-GAAP basis, down from its previous forecast of between $5.90 and $6.10, thanks to the Loxo purchase and a negative phase 3 confirmatory trial for its Lartruvo treatment for rare soft tissue cancers.
"Lilly's performance in the fourth quarter of 2018 capped an important year for the company, as we continued to launch new medicines, invest in our pipeline and deliver solid financial results," said CEO David Ricks. "The portfolio of medicines that we have launched over the past five years is providing a strong foundation on which to grow our business, while the pending acquisition of Loxo Oncology is the latest example of our commitment to develop new medicines that will transform the care of many serious illnesses."
Eli Lilly shares fell 1% on Wednesday to close at $119.27.
Eli Lilly said last month that it will pay $8 billion in cash for cancer drug specialists Loxo Oncology (LOXO) in the second major pharmaceutical sector deal of the year.
The deal will see Eli Lilly pay $235 for each Loxo share, a price that represents a 68% premium to the stocks' Friday closing price of $139.87. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2019, the companies said. The takeover came just days after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) agreed to buy Celgene Corp. (CELG) in a deal that values the group at $74 billion.
Eli Lilly also told investors on January 18 that results of its the Phase 3 drug trial of Announce, a treatment for soft tissue sarcoma, failed to meet its primary endpoint of overall survival.
The cancer drug, a combination of Lartruvo and doxorubicin for patients with advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, didn't confirm further clinical benefits compared with using doxorubicin alone, a standard of care treatment.
Announce previously showed benefits in a 133-patient randomized Phase 2 trial. That led Announce to accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and conditional marketing authorization by the European Medicines Agency.