Eli Lilly forecasts higher than expected 2019 earnings, revenue spurred by sales of newer drugs

Eli Lilly on Wednesday said it anticipates full-year earnings in the range of $5.90 per share to $6 per share for 2019, besting analyst expectations of $5.82 per share. The company also projects 2019 revenue to be between $25.3 billion and $25.8 billion, versus consensus estimates of $24.7 billion, representing mid-single-digit growth driven by volume from newer medicines, including Trulicity (dulaglutide), Taltz (ixekizumab), Basaglar (insulin glargine), Jardiance (empagliflozin), Verzenio (abemaciclib), Cyramza (ramucirumab), Olumiant (baricitinib) and Lartruvo (olaratumab), as well as the recent launch of Emgality (galcanezumab-gnlm). 

CEO David Ricks remarked "over the past five years, Eli Lilly has successfully launched 10 new medicines, bolstered our pipeline with new candidate medicines from our own laboratories and from external partners, reshaped the company to be more productive, and attracted world-class scientific talent." He added that "our actions over the past several years have positioned [us] to deliver significant value to our key stakeholders." 

Meanwhile, Eli Lilly maintained its previously announced 2018 forecast of earnings in the range of $5.55 per share to $5.60 per share on revenue between $24.3 billion and $24.5 billion. The drugmaker added that it now expects compound annual revenue growth of at least 6 percent from 2015 to 2020, as well as compound annual revenue growth of at least 7 percent for the human pharmaceuticals business.

Joshua Smiley, chief financial officer at Eli Lilly, remarked that the company "has dramatically upgraded the quality of its revenue base over the past five years through the launch and uptake of 10 new medicines, which together are expected to account for over 45 percent of human pharmaceutical sales in 2019." Meanwhile, chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky said that with Eli Lilly's "attractive clinical pipeline, two new molecules achieving regulatory submissions and three entering Phase III in 2018, we are…on pace to deliver on the company's goal to launch 20 new medicines" by 2023.

Separately, Eli Lilly announced that its next quarter dividend payout will rise by 15 percent to 64.5 cents per share.

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