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Eli Lilly raises full-year guidance as Mounjaro, other drugs drive second-quarter profit up 85%

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  • Eli Lilly raised its full-year guidance as second-quarter profit jumped 85% from the same period a year ago on strong sales from the pharmaceutical giant's drug pipeline.
  • The company reported $8.31 billion in sales for the quarter, up 28% from the same period a year ago. 
  • The company saw strong results in breast cancer pill Verzenio, Type 2 diabetes drug Jardiance and newer drugs like Mounjaro, a diabetes injection.

Eli Lilly on Tuesday raised its full-year guidance as second-quarter profit jumped 85% from the same period a year ago on strong sales from the pharmaceutical giant's diabetes treatment Mounjaro and other drugs.

The company now expects full-year revenue of between $33.4 billion and $33.9 billion, up from a previous forecast of $31.2 billion to $31.7 billion.

Eli Lilly also increased its adjusted earnings guidance to a range of $9.70 to $9.90 per share for the year, up from a range of $8.65 to $8.85.

Shares of Eli Lilly closed nearly 15% higher Tuesday.

Here's how Eli Lilly performed, compared with Wall Street expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings: $2.11 per share, vs. $1.98 per share expected
  • Revenue: $8.31 billion, vs. $7.58 billion expected

The company booked net income of $1.76 billion, or $1.95 per share, for the quarter. That's up from net income of $952.5 million, or $1.05 per share, for the same period a year ago. 

Accounting for charges associated with some intangible assets and losses on securities, the company recorded adjusted income of $1.9 billion, or $2.11 per share.

The company's $8.31 billion in sales for the quarter marked a 28% increase from the same period a year ago. 

"Our business saw an acceleration of revenue growth, driven by Mounjaro, Verzenio and Jardiance," Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said during an earnings call.

Drug results

Mounjaro, the company's Type 2 diabetes injection, posted $979.7 million in sales for the quarter. The drug was first approved in the U.S. in May 2022 and notched just $16 million in sales in the year-ago period. 

Investors have pinned high hopes on Mounjaro's potential mega-blockbuster trajectory beyond diabetes, with some research suggesting that it may be even more effective at reducing weight than Novo Nordisk's popular Wegovy and Ozempic injections.

Last month, Eli Lilly filed for Food and Drug Administration approval of the injection for chronic weight management.

The company said it "has experienced and continues to expect intermittent delays fulfilling orders of certain Mounjaro doses given significant demand."

Eli Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi noted during an earnings call that the company is ramping up capacity at a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina that produces Mounjaro and similar drugs. 

But she said supply will "likely remain tight in the coming months and quarters."

Revenue growth was also driven by sales of breast cancer pill Verzenio, which rose 57% to $926.8 million for the quarter. Sales of Jardiance, a tablet that lowers blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes patients, climbed 45% to $668.3 million for the second quarter.

The company in April sold the rights to its emergency diabetes treatment Baqsimi to Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, which brought in $579 million to the top line during the second quarter.

But sales of cancer drug Alimta weighed on revenue. The treatment, first launched in 2004, saw sales plunge 73% to $60.9 million for the second quarter. 

Alimta's last U.S. patent expired in May, resulting in lower demand as cheaper generic competitors entered the market. 

Eli Lilly also reported no sales from its Covid-19 antibody treatments, compared with $129 million in the second quarter of 2022. The Food and Drug Administration rescinded its approval of the company's antibody bebtelovimab in November.

Ricks noted that the company expects strong growth to continue in the quarters ahead as "headwinds from Covid antibody revenue and Alimta's loss of exclusivity recede."

Novo Nordisk data

Eli Lilly shares on Tuesday were also boosted by new late-stage data from rival Novo Nordisk, which found that its obesity treatment Wegovy reduced the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke by 20%. 

The results suggest that Wegovy and similar obesity and diabetes medications like those in development by Eli Lilly and others could have long-lasting health benefits beyond shedding unwanted pounds.

The results could also "support access for any payers who are on the fence" about covering obesity medications, Michael Mason, president of Eli Lilly's diabetes division, said during an earnings call.

Mason added that the results should "turn the conversation on the benefits of weight loss away from aesthetics and more towards the health benefits of people living with obesity."

For example, overweight people have a 26% increased risk of heart disease compared to those with normal weight.

Eli Lilly's stock has been on a tear in recent months, driven in part by positive trial results for its Alzheimer's drug, donanemab, and the company's progress with its promising obesity drug pipeline

Shares of Eli Lilly are up more than 42% for the year. With a market value of roughly $495 billion, Eli Lilly is now the largest pharmaceutical company based in the U.S.

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