Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is reporting net income of $1.4 billion for the first quarter, compared to $4.2 billion during the same period a year earlier. The company said the decrease is primarily driven by the $3.6 billion gain associated with the divestiture of Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) in 2019.
Lilly says first-quarter revenue was “favorably impacted” by COVID-19, due to increased customer buying patterns and patient prescription trends.
The pharmaceutical maker says revenue climbed 15% during Q1, driven by 22% volume growth.
“We’re focused on reliably supplying medicines, keeping our employees safe and pushing scientific efforts at top speed to defeat COVID-19,” said David Ricks, Lilly’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re also committed to improving the affordability of and access to our medicines, particularly insulin, during these challenging times.”
The company in March initiated a drive through testing site at its main campus and agreed to use its labs to run diagnostic testing on COVID-19. It also announced it would delay the start of clinical studies on new drugs, but it would continue trials for patients who are already enrolled.
Lilly says 2019 ended with strong revenue growth and that momentum continued into Q1 2020. But moving forward, there is less certainty because of the pandemic, according to the company’s chief financial officer.
“Our revenue and operating margin outlook for 2020 is unchanged, but the economic and healthcare consequences of this pandemic are uncertain and could negatively affect our financial results later in 2020 and beyond, due to reduced non-COVID healthcare activities and global economic challenges,” said Josh Smiley, Lilly’s chief financial officer. “We are therefore widening the range of our 2020 EPS (earnings per share) guidance to reflect both our underlying strong performance as well as future uncertainty.”
Click here to view the Lilly earnings report.