Eli Lilly (LLY) Beats Q4 Expectations on Strong Sales Performance of Key Drugs

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) was founded by a pharmacist named Colonel Eli Lilly way back in 1876. The company, known for its quality drugs, is often recognized for developing the first commercial insulin to treat diabetes. During the same time, it commenced a research program to develop a treatment for pernicious anemia, a life-threatening blood disease. Over the years, Eli Lilly expanded into areas such as oncology and cardiac medications, while keeping its dominant position in the global diabetes drug market.

The Indianapolis, Indiana-based pharmaceutical company on Friday announced strong financial results for the fourth quarter. The results were mainly driven by improved demand for its diabetes and cancer treatments and partly by its coronavirus antibody drug.

Eli Lilly reported earnings of $2.12 billion, or $2.32 per share for the three months ended December 31, as compared to $1.64 per share in the comparable period of 2019. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $2.75 per share, beating the consensus forecast of $2.37 per share.

Revenue for the quarter climbed 22 percent on a year-over-year basis to $7.44 billion. Analysts on average were looking for revenue of $7.27 billion. If we look at the performance of key segments, revenue from diabetes drug Trulicity climbed 24 percent to $1.50 billion, while revenue from cancer treatment Alimta rose 23 percent to $652.7 million.

Looking forward, Eli Lilly lowered its earnings guidance for 2021. It now expects to report a profit in the range of $7.10 per share to $7.75 per share for the full year, as compared to its previous outlook between 7.25 per share and $7.90 per share.

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Eli Lilly shares marginally moved down in the previous trading session following the revised earnings guidance. If we look at the stock’s performance in recent months, LLY’s share price has increased about 27 percent during the past 6 months, and nearly 23 percent on a year-to-date basis.