Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) Shares Climb On Positive 2013 Outlook

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), the US drug-making giant, experienced a four percent share hike on Friday after offering a better-than-expected earnings forecast for 2013.

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) Shares Climb On Positive 2013 Outlook

The company said that it predicts a full-year adjusted earnings of $3.75 to $3.90 per share. FactSet polled analysts expecting earnings of $3.73 a share for the year.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) said that despite the patent on its anti-depressant, Cymbalta, expiring in the fourth quarter of next year, it is still expecting overall revenue growth for the year. It puts its projected success for 2013 down to its line-up of other product offerings.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) hopes that annual sales will hit a range of $22.6bn to $23.4bn – a prediction ahead of the FactSet estimation of $22.4bn.

Although analysts initially thought that the positive forecast would not affect the stock greatly. Mark Schoenebaum of ISI group, in a note to clients, wrote that there is one consideration worth remembering: “Bear in mind for the past two years, [Lilly’s] initial guidance has proved conservative.”

Meanwhile, Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) was down by a percentage point after the pharmacy retailer reported a drop of 6.1 percent for same-store sales in December. The company blamed shifts in calendar days, but the main culprit was the introduction of generic drugs to the market. Walgreen reported overall sales for December were down to $6.7bn from $7bn a year ago.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) also saw a small dip today after Deutsche Bank AG (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) (NYSE:DB) analyst, Kristen Stewart, downgraded the drug maker from buy to hold.

Stewart said that the new Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), after the spinoff of AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), should hit a share price target of around $33 – where it is close to now.

Stewart wrote: “From a fundamental perspective, we believe ‘new Abbott’ is an attractive company as it is well-diversified from a product, geographic, and reimbursement risk perspective and has the potential for above peer growth.

“However, we believe the current share price captures this positive fundamental outlook and our revised price target for ‘new [Abbott]’ is $33 (old was $70).”

At the time of writing, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)’s shares are up by 3.49 percent, and currently worth $51.46.

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