NEW YORK – Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) on Thursday said its second-quarter profit fell, as a special charge more than offset sales of new drugs and the benefit of the weak dollar.
Earnings fell to $656.9 million, or 60 cents per share, from $692.2 million, or 64 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Indianapolis-based Lilly said the loss was due primarily to a charge of almost $109 million, mostly for engineering and design costs of unspecified projects that it has abandoned.
The company had alerted investors last month it would take such a charge, but had not specified the size. The scrapped engineering plans will not lead to job layoffs or closures of any facilities, Lilly spokeswoman Terra Fox said.
Excluding the charge, profit rose 7 percent to $739 million, or 68 cents per share — matching the average forecast among analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
The performance came despite a 26 percent rise in research spending and 12 percent jump in marketing and administrative costs, largely to promote new products like Strattera (search) for attention deficit disorder and injectable osteoporosis treatment Forteo (search).
Global sales jumped 15 percent to $3.56 billion, spurred by sales of schizophrenia drug Zyprexa (search), Strattera, Forteo, and Gemzar for cancer. They would have risen only 11 percent if not for the weak dollar, which raises the value of products sold outside the United States when converted back into dollars.
Sales of Zyprexa, which provides half of Lilly's profit, jumped 16 percent to $1.21 billion. Its overseas sales rose 31 percent, but demand for the drug declined in the United States amid new competition from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s (BMY) Abilify and Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) Geodon.
Even so, U.S. sales of Zyprexa rose 7 percent because of wholesaler stocking patterns, Lilly said. The medicine is losing steam in the United States because the rival medicines are not as closely associated with weight gains. Schizophrenics are at a much higher risk of adult-onset diabetes, which is closely associated with obesity.
Sales of diabetes drugs rose 5 percent to $675 million, while Gemzar jumped 15 percent to $293 million.
Revenue of Evista, used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, rose 24 percent to $277 million, due largely to launch of the drug in Japan, a U.S. price increase and wholesaler stocking patterns. But actual demand for the drug fell in the United States on competition from Merck & Co.'s (MRK) Fosamax and Procter & Gamble Co.'s (PG) Actonel.