Eli Lilly CEO defends earnings miss in fiscal Q3

on Oct 26, 2021
  • Eli Lilly reports mixed results for Q3 but raised its full-year profit guidance.
  • CEO Ricks explained why earnings missed estimates on CNBC's "Squawk Box".
  • Shares of the company remained stable in premarket trading on Tuesday.

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Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE: LLY) said its earnings in the fiscal third quarter fell shy of Wall Street estimates. Shares, however, remained stable in premarket trading as revenue came in better-than-expected.

Highlights from CEO Ricks’ interview with CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, CEO David Ricks attributed the earnings miss to tax payments. He said:

I think the miss versus the estimates was really driven by tax. We paid more tax than they thought we would in Q3.

Ricks, however, expressed confidence that the underlying business continued to be strong, as evident in the revenue beat and raised full-year guidance.

Eli Lilly submitted its next-generation diabetes therapy with a priority review voucher in the third quarter. Ricks is confident that Tirzepatide that showed promising results in controlling glucose and promoting weight loss for patients with diabetes, will secure FDA approval in the first half of 2022.

According to the chief executive, the U.S. firm is investing heavily in R&D for continued future growth. He added:

Today, we also announced a head-to-head comparison of our Donanemab with Aducanumab, which was approved earlier this year, to demonstrate that our antibody clears plaque faster and deeper.

Q3 financial performance and full-year guidance

Eli Lilly said its net income printed at $1.11 billion that represents an annualised decline of 8.0%. On an adjusted per-share basis, it earned $1.94 versus the year-ago figure of $1.41.

The pharmaceutical company generated $6.773 billion – an increase from last year’s $5.74 billion, as per the earnings press release. According to FactSet, experts had forecast $1.96 of adjusted EPS on $6.639 billion in revenue.

Despite weaker-than-expected results, Eli Lilly raised its profit guidance for 2021 on sustained demand for its COVID-19 related products. It now forecasts up to $8.05 in per-share profit. In comparison, analysts are calling for $7.90 instead.


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