On Thursday, Eli Lilly
First, the numbers. Sales increased 13% to $3.13 billion. However, profits increased only 4% to $714.4 million or 66 cents a share. Overall marketing and administrative expenses increased 19%. Plus, research and development expenses rose 8% due to increased clinical trial expenses.
These higher expenses, though, are paying for the company's strong pipeline. Its newest release, Strattera for attention deficit disorder, has only been on the market for three quarters, but its sales have already surpassed $100 million. During the coming months, Eli Lilly expects to receive approval of Cialis for erectile dysfunction, Symbyax for biopolar depression, and Alimta for mesothelioma.
It's this pipeline that brightens the days of investors who have been patiently waiting for growth to restart at Eli Lilly. Just a few years ago, it lost its patent for Prozac, its blockbuster anti-depression medicine. Since then, Eli Lilly has had some run-ins with FDA regulators regarding production at one of its facilities. It has also faced other regulatory delays. But it looks like the promised pipeline may now finally pay off. It may just be what the doctor prescribed.
Brian R. Hook owns shares in Eli Lilly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.