Lilly Rides Mounjaro, Zepbound to Better-than-Expected Q1 Profit Despite Supply Issues

Lilly also spent more money in the quarter, with the company's research and development costs jumping 27%.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

Rapidly climbing sales of the new obesity drug Zepbound and its counterpart for diabetes, Mounjaro, pushed Eli Lilly to a better-than-expected first-quarter profit.

The drugmaker also hiked its forecast for 2024 well beyond analyst expectations after sales of Mounjaro more than tripled in the year's first quarter.

Lilly said it was still dealing with supply issues, with strong demand for both drugs outpacing its production hikes. But the company expects its most significant increases to occur in the back half of the year.

Shares of Lilly jumped early Tuesday after the company detailed results.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. recorded $517 million in sales from Zepbound, which received approval from U.S. regulators last fall.

Total Mounjaro sales more than tripled to $1.81 billion from $568 million in last year's quarter.

Those drugs helped the company's total revenue jump 26% to $8.77 billion. But Wall Street expected a little more. Analysts had forecast $8.94 billion in sales, according to a survey by FactSet.

A 26% drop in sales for the diabetes treatment Trulicity softened some of the company's gains from Mounjaro and Zepbound.

Lilly also spent more money in the quarter, with the company's research and development costs jumping 27%. Marketing, selling and administrative expenses also increased 12% in the quarter.

Overall, Lilly's net income jumped 67% to $2.24 billion. Earnings adjusted for one-time items totaled $2.58 per share.

Wall Street expected $2.47 per share.

For the full year, Lilly raised its forecasted range for adjusted earnings per share by more than a dollar. It now expects earnings of between $13.50 and $14 per share. That would more than double the company's total of $6.32 per share from 2023.

Analysts forecast adjusted earnings of $12.49 per share.

Shares of Lilly jumped nearly 7% in premarket trading to $787.

The stock had already climbed 26% so far this year. It topped $800 in early March to set a new all-time high.

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