Eli Lilly (LLY) Stock Price Target Raised at Leerink

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) stock price target was increased to $95 from $93 at Leerink, which maintained its "outperform" rating on the pharmaceutical company.

"We see the opportunity for substantial operating leverage post-2016 as the diabetes franchise accelerates and the oncology franchise broadens," Leerink said in an analyst note this morning.

Before the market open on January 5, Eli Lilly is expected to set its 2016 earnings guidance below consensus of $3.67 per share because of less benefits from foreign exchange rates.

The company's latest Alzheimer's disease treatment, solanezumab, could drive sales growth in 2017, following the results of the Phase 3 studies, due out in late 2016.

"We see upward of $5 billion sales potential if solanezumab and follow-on products demonstrate efficacy for Alzheimer's disease," analysts added.

Eli Lilly stock closed at $85.85 on Thursday.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate LILLY (ELI) & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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