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Lilly edges past 1Q target
April 16, 2001: 11:39 a.m. ET

Sees revenue rise on strong sales of Zyprexa; beats EPS forecast by 1 cent
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. edged past analysts' forecasts Monday as its profit from operations rose in the first quarter, and said it expects to do so again this quarter.

Indianapolis-based Lilly (LLY: up $1.67 to $79.11, Research, Estimates) earned $806.8 million, or 74 cents a diluted share. Analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call were looking for earnings per share of 73 cents in the period.

In the year-earlier period, Lilly reported income from operations of $692.3 million, or 63 cents a share, although special items, including a gain on a sale of a joint venture during that period, resulted in net income of $845.5 million, or 77 cents a share.

The company also said it expects to earn 73-to-75 cents a share in the second quarter, excluding any special items. First Call's forecast called for it to earn only 71 cents in the current period. The company kept its full-year EPS guidance in the $2.75-to-$2.85 range, which encompasses' First Call's forecast of $2.81 a share for the year.

Sales rose 14 percent to $2.8 billion from $2.5 billion a year earlier.

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Lilly's best-performing drug in the quarter was the schizophrenia treatment Zyprexa, whose sales of $637.1 million was up 34 percent when adjusted for prior-year Y2K-related sale. Zyprexa passed sales of Lilly's anti-depression drugs Prozac and Sarafem, which saw sales gain only 2 percent between them. graphic