Eli Lilly & Co.'s CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 9:00 am ET

Executives

Philip Johnson -

Travis Coy -

Derica W. Rice - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Global Services and Member of Policy & Strategy Committee

Jan M. Lundberg - Executive Vice President of Science & Technology and President of Lilly Research Laboratories

Ilissa Rassner -

John C. Lechleiter - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Analysts

Jami Rubin - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Marc Goodman - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Christopher Schott - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

David Risinger - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Tim Anderson - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Mark J. Schoenebaum - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

John T. Boris - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Gregory B. Gilbert - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Seamus Fernandez - Leerink Swann LLC, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Eli Lilly Q1 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I will now turn the conference over to your host, Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Phil Johnson. Please go ahead, sir.

Philip Johnson

Good morning. Thanks for taking the time to join us for Eli Lilly & Co.'s First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. I'm Phil Johnson, Vice President of Investor Relations. Joining me are our Chairman and CEO, John Lechleiter; our Chief Financial Officer, Derica Rice; our President of Lilly Research Laboratories, Dr. Jan Lundberg; and Ilissa Rassner and Travis Coy for Investor Relations.

During this conference call, we anticipate making projections and forward-looking statements based on our current expectations. Our actual results could differ materially due to a number of factors, including those listed on Slide 3 and those outlined in our latest forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information we provide about our products and pipeline is for the benefit of the investment community. It is not intended to be promotional and is not sufficient for prescribing decisions.

We are very pleased with our performance in the first quarter of 2012. In the face of significant reductions in revenue and earnings due to the Zyprexa patent expiration, Lilly employees around the world have remained focused on execution. They delivered results that solidly position us to meet our 2012 financial guidance, and it places us on track to meet or exceed our midterm financial minimum goals. Let's begin with a quick review of events that have taken place since our previous earnings call.

From a commercial perspective, we're pleased that Jentadueto, the linagliptin plus metformin fixed-dose combination for treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes, is now available in U.S. pharmacies.

On the regulatory front, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved Zyprexa for treatment of depression in bipolar disorder and Cymbalta for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.

Amylin's Byetta received European Commission approval as an adjunctive therapy to basal insulin, with or without metformin and/or pioglitazone, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults.

We received a Complete Response Letter from the FDA for Erbitux in first-line non-small cell lung cancer. Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb do not plan to further pursue this FLEX submission but will continue to market Erbitux in the U.S. for certain types of head and neck and colorectal cancer.

And lastly, the FDA approved Amyvid for use in patients being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive decline.

In clinical news, we announced the results of the Phase III study that showed both Cialis and tamsulosin significantly improved scores on the International Prostate Symptom Score in men with signs and symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

And we announced new Phase II data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that showed ixekizumab, and anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibody, met its primary endpoint in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

Now let's move on to discuss our financial performance. As we've done on the previous calls, we'll focus our comments on the non-GAAP results, which we believe provide insights into the underlying trends in our business. This excludes certain items, such as restructuring charges, asset impairments and other special charges.

Turning to the income statement. On Slide 6, you can see that revenue declined by 4% in Q1 to just over $5.6 billion. This decrease in revenue was due to the loss of patent exclusivity for Zyprexa in most major markets outside of Japan, partially offset by growth from other products. Excluding Zyprexa outside of Japan, the rest of our revenue actually grew 10%.

Gross margin as a percent of revenue decreased 1.2 percentage points from 79.8% to 78.6%. This decrease in gross margin percent was primarily due to lower sales of Zyprexa, partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates on international inventories sold.

This quarter's total operating expense, defined as the sum of R&D and SG&A, grew 3%. Within operating expenses, marketing, selling and administrative expenses grew 3%, while R&D expenses grew 2%. The growth in marketing, selling and administrative expenses was driven by the diabetes collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim and increased expense for newer pharmaceutical and animal health products, partially offset by lower administrative expenses. The growth in R&D expense was largely driven by the Boehringer Ingelheim collaboration as well as other late stage clinical trial costs.

When thinking about our year-on-year growth and operating expenses, keep in mind that in Q1 last year, we only had a partial quarter's worth of expenses for the Boehringer Ingelheim collaboration. The level of operating expenses in Q1 of this year is squarely in line with our expectations and our full year guidance.

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