Eli Lilly & Co posted quarterly earnings that were better than had been expected due to sales of its new treatments for cancer and diabetes and cost controls, keeping the drug maker in the U.S. on track for a return this year to growth.
Lilly increased its profit forecast for the full year to reflect its expected gains in investment and its lower spending on marketing and research.
Lilly has been hit with declining sales as well since 2011 following sales of its largest products plummeting when competition injected cheaper generics.
However, the drug maker based in Indianapolis refused to consider a merger with another big drug maker, saying the pipeline it has of its own experimental drugs would help restore earnings growth by this year.
The company’s new lung cancer treatment Cyramza has sales for the quarter of $111 million, while Lilly was recently approved by the FDA for Trulicity its diabetes drugs, which pulled in another $74 million.
One of Lilly’s most promising treatments is Jardiance following last month’s data from a large trail that indicated the pill had slashed the number of deaths by 32% amongst patients that have type 2 diabetes, with a risk of heart attack.
Jardiance registered sales of only $15 million during the quarter, but industry analysts expect the drug to eventually have huge sales if medical societies recommend its early use.
Lilly is expecting profit of between $3.40 and $3.45 a share in 2015, excluding certain items, from its view earlier of between $3.20 and $3.30 a share. The growth reflected in that would be 24% over 2014.
Company sales increased 2% during the quarter to reach $4.96 billion, which was slightly under the expectation on Wall Street. However, they would have increased by a full 10% if not for the very strong U.S. dollar.
Net profit for the quarter was up to $799.6 million equal to 75 cents a share from last year during the same period of $500.5 million equal to 47 cents a share.
Eliminating special items Lilly’s earnings were 89 cents a share, which easily beat the estimate of analysts of 76 cents a share.