Shares in Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) fell slightly this morning even though the pharmaceutical company beat analysts’ estimates with its fourth quarter and full-year financial results.
The Indianapolis-based company swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter, posting -$1.7 billion, or $1.85 per share, on sales of $6.2 billion for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for sales growth of 7% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were $1.14, ahead of consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $5.9 billion.
“Lilly’s new products, including Trulicity, Taltz and Jardiance, continued to drive solid revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, while we maintained flat operating expenses,” chairman & CEO David Ricks said in prepared remarks. “Momentum continues for our innovation-based strategy. We recently received approval for Taltz in the U.S. and European Union for active psoriatic arthritis, are encouraged by early use of Verzenio for breast cancer and expect further pipeline progress in 2018 in areas of significant patient need, including cancer, immunologic disorders, diabetes, neurodegeneration and pain.”
The company took a $1.9 billion hit in the fourth quarter associated with the new tax reform law, but noted that its effective tax rate for 2018 has dropped from 20.5% to 18%. In light of recently-enacted U.S. tax reform legislation, Eli Lilly increased its non-GAAP EPS guidance for 2018 to $4.81 – $4.91. The company expects to reel in between $23 billion and $23.5 billion in sales this year.
Eli Lilly’s chief finance exec told analysts that the new tax law gives the company access to more than $9 billion in cash and investments, which it plans to spend on marketed products, as well as its pipeline, according to CNBC.
For the full year, Eli Lilly posted -$204.1 million in losses on $22.87 billion in sales – up 8% from 2016.
LLY shares were trading at $82.66 apiece in mid-morning activity today, down -4%.
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