3Q Net Sinks 5% at Eli Lilly; Non-GAAP EPS Meets Estimates

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Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) disclosed a 5% decrease in third-quarter profits amid higher costs on Thursday, but the big drug maker’s non-GAAP earnings met Wall Street’s expectations.

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company said it earned $1.24 billion, or $1.11 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1.3 billion, or $1.18 a share. Excluding one-time items, it earned an in-line $1.13 a share.

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Revenue increased 9% to $6.15 billion, topping estimates of $6.06 billion. Domestic sales grew 4% to $3.27 billion, compared with 15% international revenue growth to $2.87 billion.

Shares of Eli Lilly slipped 0.31% to $38.58 Thursday morning. The company’s stock has rallied more than 10% year-to-date.

Looking ahead, Eli Lilly narrowed its 2011 non-GAAP EPS view to a range of $4.30 to $4.35, up from $4.25 to $4.35 previously. Analysts had been calling for 2011 EPS of $4.33.

Eli Lilly reported a 3% decline in sales to $1.2 billion for sales of Zyprexa, the schizophrenia drug it is losing patent exclusivity on in most markets. However, sales of anti-depression and anti-anxiety drug Cymbalta jumped 29% to $1.1 billion and revenue for cancer drug Alimta grew 12% to $629.7 million.

“As we face the loss of patent exclusivity for Zyprexa in most major markets, we are well-prepared as a company to meet the challenges before us,” CEO John Lechleiter said in a statement. “We remain committed to our innovation-based strategy and are focused on delivering the next wave of new medicines to patients in the coming years."

Eli Lilly also said the U.S. health-care reform cut its third-quarter revenue by $150 million last quarter due to higher rebates and subsidies and increased administrative expenses.