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Lilly profit matches estimates as U.S. drug sales grow

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(Bloomberg) — Eli Lilly & Co. posted second-quarter earnings that matched analysts’ estimates as sales surged, led by growing U.S. sales of the company’s top drugs such as the erectile dysfunction pill Cialis and the diabetes treatment Humalog.

Profit excluding some items totaled 86 cents a share, the company said Tuesday in a statement, equaling an average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 8.7 percent to $5.4 billion, topping estimates of $5.15 billion.

The smallest of its U.S. major pharmaceutical peers by market value, Lilly had regained momentum by beating profit estimates for four straight quarters, starting with the fourth period of 2014, though it’s fallen short in the last two. After losing key patents in 2011 and 2013, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker is betting on sales growth from recently introduced drugs such as diabetes medicine Trulicity and cancer treatment Cyramza.

Revenue will grow by at least 5 percent a year, mostly through volume, through the end of the decade and margins will improve, Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter said in the statement. He also promised to increase to the company’s dividend, which was flat from 2008 to 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Drug sales

Sales of Jardiance totaled $40.1 million, falling short of analysts’ projections of $51.9 million. Hopes are high for the diabetes treatment, which was developed with Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and approved in 2014.

Sales of the drug may surpass $1.62 billion in 2020 if claims for cardiovascular and kidney benefits are allowed, according to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recently recommended approval of an expanded label saying the drug helps reduce the risk of death from cardiac events. It would be the first diabetes treatment to carry such a claim.

More highlights from the second quarter:

  • Net income rose to $747.7 million, or 71 cents a share, from $600.8 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier.

  • Animal health sales rose 2.3 percent to $859.8 million.

  • Sales by the unit have more than doubled since 2010 as Lilly acquired a series of companies and expanded its portfolio of medicines for pets.

  • Insulin drug Humalog sales increased 7.3 percent to $701.9 million, less than analysts’ estimates of $709 million.

  • Cialis sales rose 11 percent $630.5 million, compared to estimates for $582.8 million.


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