Eli Lilly Exceeds Expectations with $2B Revenue in Q1 2024

Eli Lily

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) fell short of Wall Street consensus estimates for Mounjaro sales in the first quarter but saw robust growth driven by its GLP-1 products, including Zepbound, contributing to a 26% year-over-year sales increase.

The pharmaceutical giant raised its full-year guidance by $2 billion to $43 billion, propelling its stock over 6% higher at the opening of Tuesday’s session.

Eli Lilly announced plans to enhance access to the weight-loss drug Zepbound, reaching 67% of potential customers as of April 1. Despite initial resistance from employers and insurers due to increased health expenses, the company is making headway in expanding coverage. Lilly aims to engage more self-pay employers and enhance access through pharmacy benefits managers’ formularies, potentially benefiting market leader and competitor Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO), which reports its first-quarter earnings on Thursday.

Jared Holz, healthcare sector expert at Mizuho, emphasized Zepbound’s pivotal role in the company’s earnings, signaling a promising outlook despite manufacturing and coverage challenges. Holz noted Lilly’s substantial lead in manufacturing buildout compared to competitors, positioning the company for significant market share in a groundbreaking sector.

Holz emphasized the early stage of market development and commercialization for these drugs, highlighting future milestones such as exploring new use cases, developing a pill version, and undergoing clinical trials, which will shape the company’s position in the market.

Evan Seigerman, managing director at BMO Capital Markets, commended Lilly’s GLP-1 sales figures, indicating positive long-term prospects and enhanced profitability for the products.

CEO David Ricks addressed investor queries regarding the potential production of an oral version to mitigate manufacturing challenges faced by injectables. Ricks highlighted the comparative ease of producing pills, leveraging existing partnerships for fill and finish and active pharmaceutical ingredient production.

In the first quarter, Eli Lilly reported total revenues of $8.8 billion, marking a $2 billion increase from revenues of nearly $7 billion in the same quarter of 2023.

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