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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN), Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): Five Drugmakers With a Lot on the Line

You may or may not have heard, but it’s earnings season again. Contrary to popular belief, earnings season does actually take a break for a few weeks in between quarters; however, we’re in the midst of a big ramp-up in earnings reports from some of America’s largest companies.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN)

Next week we can expect some of the largest companies in health care to report their earnings results. While all earnings reports are important, certain companies have a lot more on the line than others this earnings season. Consider the following five companies an absolute “must-watch” when they report their quarterly results next week.

Wednesday, July 24

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)

Dubbed the most perilous pipeline by me earlier this year, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) is expected to report a 4% increase in revenue to $5.8 billion and a 20% increase in EPS to $1 on Wednesday. Call me a bit skeptical, though, considering that Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)’s pipeline is in pretty poor shape. Both Cymbalta and Humalog will soon be exposed to generic competition, and they represent about 30% of Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)’s total revenue. With no drugs outside of the soon-to-be off-patent Cymbalta and Cialis demonstrating double-digit sales growth in the first quarter, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) is going to need to pull a rabbit out of its hat to appease shareholders.

InterMune Inc (NASDAQ:ITMN)

InterMune Inc (NASDAQ:ITMN) shares may have exploded higher by 30% over the past week, but there’s certain to be a lot of nail-biting on the part of shareholders as we head into earnings season. The reason has been the slow acceptance of the company’s idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug, Esbriet, based on its pricing in the EU. In previous quarters Esbriet sales have disappointed in a big way, but are expected to rise by 134% to nearly $13 million from last year, though losses are still anticipated to come in at $0.70 per share. Following its recent pop, Esbriet sales had better hit the mark, otherwise InterMune Inc (NASDAQ:ITMN) shareholders are probably going to be in for a long day.

Thursday, July 25

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) shares have been on a tear over the past year, thanks to the promise of oral hepatitis-C drug sofosbuvir, which is currently under review by the FDA. However, the company will now need to meet the extremely high hopes of investors in the second-quarter if it has any chance of heading higher.

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