Lilly posts sales below estimates

Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:31am EDT

Prozac medicine is seen at a pharmacy in Los Angeles, California, October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Prozac medicine is seen at a pharmacy in Los Angeles, California, October 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, hurt by disappointing sales of its cancer and diabetes drugs.

Lilly said it earned $728 million, or 68 cents per share, in the first quarter. It had profit of $1.55 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier, when Lilly posted special gains from transferring rights to a diabetes drug.

Excluding special items, Lilly earned 70 cents per share, matching the average estimate of analysts, as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 16 percent to $4.68 billion while Wall Street expected $4.8 billion.

Lilly said it still expected earnings of $2.72 to $2.80 per share, excluding items, in full-year 2014.

(Corrects last paragraph to show 2014 profit outlook is unchanged rather than cut; removes reference to lowered outlook in headline and first paragraph)

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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