Eli Lilly (LLY) reaffirmed its in-line fiscal 2012 guidance on Friday and unveiled an upbeat outlook for the following year.

The company also said it continues to bridge the gap between patent expirations and new drug approvals and is on track to meet or exceed expectations through 2014.

The Indianapolis-based drug maker said it sees current-year earnings in the range of $3.30 to $3.40 when excluding special items, bracketing average analyst estimates of $3.36 in a Thomson Reuters poll.

"We remain on track to meet or exceed our minimum financial performance targets,” said Derica Rice, Lilly chief financial officer. “From now through 2014, on an annual basis we still expect revenue to be at least $20 billion, net income to be at least $3 billion, and operating cash flow to be at least $4 billion."

For 2013, the pharmaceutical giant projects non-GAAP EPS of $3.75 to $3.90, topping the Street’s view of $3.71. It sees revenue for the 12-month period between $22.6 billion and $23.4 billion, meeting average analyst estimates of $22.82 billion.

Both outlooks exclude recent changes to the tax code and the transfer of certain commercial rights outside the U.S. and Amylin (AMLN).

Lilly said it continues to implement strategies to mitigate the effects of the so-called patent cliff that has caused it to lose exclusivity for some of its major blockbuster drugs and thrust it into much deeper competition with generic drug makers.

"We have made substantial progress in recent years and expect 2013 to continue that trend," Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said in a statement.

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