Lilly Profit Beats Estimates on Sales of Diabetes Drug

Jul 24, 2014 4:04 pm ET

(Updates with CFO comment in fifth paragraph.)

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Eli Lilly & Co., the drugmaker experiencing a wave of sales losses as patents expire, reported profit that beat analyst estimates with better-than-expected revenue from its diabetes drug Humalog.

Second-quarter net income fell 39 percent to $734 million, or 68 cents a share, from $1.21 billion, or $1.11 a year earlier, the Indianapolis-based company said today in a statement. Earnings beat by 3 cents the average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Although total revenue declined 17 percent to $4.9 billion, Humalog sales jumped 11 percent to $700.1 million, compared with analyst estimates of $682.7 million. Sales for the antidepressant Cymbalta were $401.3 million in the quarter, beating estimates of $388.5 million.

Lilly said revenue from its animal-health business was $601 million, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Lilly bought Novartis AG’s animal-health unit on April 22, making it the second-largest animal-health company by sales.

While the pharmaceutical sector has seen increased acquisition activity, including AbbVie Inc.’s $55 billion purchase of Shire Plc, Lilly isn’t interested in large-scale deals, Chief Financial Officer Derica Rice said today in a conference call with investors.

“We just have not seen the long-term benefits from those types of transactions,” Rice said. “As it relates to inversion, if that ever did come about, it would be a secondary benefit, not the primary driver of us taking any type of M&A action.”

In December, Lilly lost exclusive marketing rights for the antidepressant Cymbalta, which had $5.08 billion in 2013 sales and is projected to sell $1.51 billion this year. Lilly’s osteoporosis drug Evista lost patent protection in March.

Shares rose less than 1 percent to $64.37 at the close in New York. The drugmaker has gained 22 percent in the past 12 months.