Eli Lilly beats first-quarter expectations, driven by prescriptions amid coronavirus pandemic

Sales rose 15%, with the company citing strong demand for key products such as Trulicity, Taltz and Emgality

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Eli Lilly & Co. topped revenue expectations for the first quarter as patient prescriptions amid the Covid-19 pandemic partially drove sales.

The pharmaceutical company on Thursday posted net income of $1.46 billion, or $1.60 a share, compared with $4.24 billion, or $4.31 a share, in the comparable quarter last year. Lilly said it booked a $3.68 billion gain related to the disposition of Elanco last year.

Adjusted earnings were $1.75 a share, beating the $1.48 a share analysts polled by FactSet had expected.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LLYELI LILLY & COMPANY149.21-1.50-1.00%

Sales rose 15% to $5.86 billion, ahead of the $5.49 billion analysts had expected. The company said it had strong demand for key products such as Trulicity, Taltz and Emgality as well as an additional $250 million due to buying patterns and prescription trends amid the pandemic.

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U.S. sales rose 15% to $3.33 billion, and revenue outside the U.S. grew 15% to $2.53 billion.

The company has said it was delaying most new study starts and pause enrollment in most ongoing study starts, in an effort to ease the burden on health-care facilities and allow physicians to focus on dealing with the pandemic.

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Lilly earlier this month said it is testing baricitinib, a rheumatoid arthritis drug, for patients hospitalized with Covid-19.

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