Eli Lilly's fourth-quarter sales top estimates, lifted by Trulicity

Eli Lilly announced Tuesday that fourth-quarter sales rose 7 percent year-over-year to $5.8 billion, topping analyst estimates of $5.6 billion, driven by the performance of Trulicity and other new drugs. Net income in the three-month period jumped 61 percent to $771.8 million, partly reflecting lower acquired in-process R&D charges.

CEO David A. Ricks remarked "newly launched products - including Trulicity, Cyramza, Jardiance and Taltz - led Lilly's volume-driven growth in 2016." In the fourth quarter, sales of Trulicity reached $337 million, up from $112.5 million in the year-ago period and topping analyst estimates.

For other products, sales of Humalog grew 3 percent to $819.8 million, besting analyst forecasts, as lower realised prices in the US were offset by increased demand. Further, revenue from Cialis increased 6 percent to $676.3 million.

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For the full year, overall sales lifted 6 percent versus 2015 to $21.2 billion, with net income up 14 percent to $2.7 billion. "We expect this momentum to continue in 2017 and remain focused on launching new products, improving productivity and advancing our pipeline," Ricks commented.

For the current year, Eli Lilly reaffirmed that it expects earnings per share to be in the range of $4.05 to $4.15, with sales between $21.8 billion and $22.3 billion. Analysts predict earnings for 2017 of $4.10 per share on revenues of around $22 billion.

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