Eli Lilly Posts Earnings Beat on Strong Demand for Trulicity and Taltz

Drugmaker Eli Lilly reports fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat analysts' forecasts as sales of key treatments for diabetes and autoimmune diseases post strong growth.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly  (LLY) - Get Report on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts and revenue that topped expectations as sales of its key treatments for diabetes and autoimmune diseases continued to post strong growth.

The Indianapolis-based company reported earnings of $1.58 billion, or $1.73 a share, vs. $1.26 billion, or $1.32 a share in the comparable year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting per-share earnings of $1.52.

Revenue came in at $6.1 billion, down from $6.4 billion a year ago but still ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $5.1 billion.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 grew 8%, driven by 10% volume growth among some of the company’s key drugs including Trulicity, Taltz and Cyramza, which combined with other medications helped boost total revenue growth, the company said.

U.S. sales rose by 7% as increased volumes were partially offset by lower realized prices, in particular for the company's well-known Cialis medication, while sales outside the U.S. increased 10%. 

For 2020, Eli Lilly said it now expects full-year per-share earnings of between $6.18 and $6.28. On a non-GAAP basis, the company reaffirmed 2020 per-share earnings in the range of $6.70 to $6.80. 

Analysts polled by FactSet are currently expecting per-share earnings of $6.71.

Revenue is now expected to be between $23.7 billion and $24.2 billion, with the addition of QBREXZA revenue from the pending acquisition of Dermira  (DERM) - Get Report possibly adding more. QBREXZA is a treatment for excessive underarm sweating.

Shares of Eli Lilly were up 0.41% at $139.35 in morning trading on Thursday. The stock has gained roughly 7.5% since the start of the year.