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Eli Lilly’s Profit Rises On Strong Sales Of Weight-Loss Drugs

Eli Lilly (LLY) has reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit and raised its forward guidance as sales of its popular weight-loss drugs accelerate.

The pharmaceutical giant reported earnings per share of $2.58 U.S. versus $2.46 U.S. that was expected on Wall Street.

Revenue in the quarter missed analyst targets, coming in at $8.77 billion U.S. compared to $8.92 billion U.S. that was forecast. Despite the miss, sales were up 26% year over year.

In terms of guidance, Eli Lilly said it now expects full-year earnings of $13.50 U.S. to $14 U.S. per share, up from previous guidance of $12.20 U.S. to $12.70 U.S. a share.

The company expects full-year revenue of $42.4 billion U.S. to $43.6 billion U.S., which is an increase of $2 billion U.S. at either end of the estimated range.

Analysts had expected full-year earnings of $12.50 U.S. a share and sales of $41.44 billion U.S.

Eli Lilly attributed the raised guidance to growing sales of its blockbuster diabetes drug Mounjaro and newly launched weight-loss drug Zepbound.

The latest earnings include the first full quarter of Zepbound sales. The drug, which was approved by U.S. regulators last autumn, reported $517.4 million U.S. in Q1 sales.

Eli Lilly said it continues to grapple with shortages of Zepbound in the U.S. as it ramps up production to meet strong global demand.

Some analysts have forecast that Zepbound could post more than $1 billion U.S. in sales in its first year on the market, and that it might become the biggest selling drug of all time.

In February, Eli Lilly said that it expects revenue growth to accelerate in this year’s second half, which will be consistent with increased production and availability of Mounjaro and Zepbound.

Shares of Eli Lilly are up 7% in premarket trading on news of the Q1 earnings. In the last 12 months, Eli Lilly’s stock has risen 82% to trade at $737.20 U.S. per share.

With a market capitalization of $700 billion U.S., Eli Lilly is now the largest pharmaceutical company in America.

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