Eli Lilly cuts annual profit view as lower insulin prices hit Q2 sales

The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg, France, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) on Thursday cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time as lower insulin prices and competition for the company's cancer drug bruised its second-quarter earnings.

U.S. drugmakers have been pulled up by lawmakers in recent months over rising costs of insulin. The U.S. House of Representatives in March passed a bill capping monthly out-of-pocket insulin costs for those with health insurance at $35. read more

Lilly, which cut prices of insulin Lispro products by 40% from January 1, reported a 26% fall in sales of its popular insulin products Lispro and Humalog to $447.1 million in the second quarter. (https://reut.rs/3oUvppy)

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Revenue from its cancer drug, Alimta, also slumped 63% to $227.7 million due to the entry of copycat drugs.

The drugmaker is now focusing on its upcoming and new launches, including the recently approved diabetes drug Mounjaro, which recorded $16 million during the quarter.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman was positive about Lilly despite the weak results due to optimism over promising Alzheimer's drug donanemab and Mounjaro. Focus is now on updates about Lilly's plans for an additional filing for Mounjaro in treating obesity, Seigerman said.

Optimism over the two key drugs helped offset the initial impact of disappointing results, with the stock down nearly 3% before the bell against a 6% slump initially.

Lilly cut its 2022 adjusted profit forecast to $7.90 to $8.05 per share from $8.15 to $8.30 announced in April.

Its net income fell to $952.5 million, or $1.05 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $1.39 billion, or $1.53 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-off items, Lilly reported a profit of $1.25 per share, much lower than the average analyst estimate of $1.69 per share, as per Refinitiv IBES data.

Its revenue of $6.49 billion also missed the consensus estimate of $6.84 billion.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Leroy Leo and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.