Eli Lilly and Co posted better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as sales of its top-selling prescription drugs beat projections, and the drugmaker raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Sales of lung cancer treatment Alimta, anti-depressant Cymbalta, Humalog insulin and schizophrenia drug Zyprexa all topped analysts' forecasts. Shares of Lilly rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading.
Net income was $941.8 million, or 86 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $465.6 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier, when Lilly took big charges related to a marketing probe of Zyprexa.
The Indianapolis-based drugmaker took charges totaling $549.8 million in the latest quarter, including asset impairment and restructuring charges for the sale of a manufacturing plant and a charge related to a legal settlement.
Excluding those charges, Lilly posted earnings of $1.20 per share. On that basis, analysts' average forecast was $1.02, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 7 percent to $5.56 billion. Analysts were looking for $5.41 billion.
Zyprexa sales rose 3 percent to $1.22 billion, ahead of the $1.19 billion expected by analysts, helped by higher prices in the United States and the withdrawal of generic competition in Germany. The drug has faced continuing concerns about its tendency to cause weight gains that might lead to diabetes.
Higher demand helped drive Cymbalta sales up 10 percent to $790.2 million, a shade above the $788 million estimate. Alimta sales soared 47 percent to $461.9 million, compared with an estimate of $415.3 million, helped by expanded use.
Sales of the newly approved blood clot drug Effient, which Lilly is counting on to help fuel future growth, totaled $22.6 million in the quarter.
Lilly boosted its full-year forecast for earnings, excluding items, to a range of $4.30 to $4.40 per share, up from $4.20 to $4.30 previously.
Lilly said last month it plans to cut 5,500 jobs, or 13.5 percent of its workforce, as it girds for generic competition by 2011 to Zyprexa and its Gemzar cancer treatment.
Shares of Lilly have fallen about 12 percent this year, compared with a 9 percent rise for the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical index <.DRG> of large drugmakers.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)