Drugmaker Lilly’s 2016 forecast misses Street expectations

(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Eli Lilly has dropped a lower-than-expected 2016 forecast on Wall Street after wrapping up a year in which its stock soared above the broader market.

The drugmaker said Tuesday it expects adjusted earnings in the new year to range between $3.45 and $3.55 per share, excluding charges like deal integration costs. It predicts revenue of between $20.2 billion and $20.7 billion.

Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $3.65 per share on $21.36 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Lilly’s outlook comes after the maker of the insulin Humalog topped analyst expectations for the first three quarters of 2015 and bumped up its annual forecast for that year in October. Lilly reaffirmed that forecast for adjusted 2015 earnings of between $3.40 and $3.45 per share on Tuesday.

Bernstein analyst Dr. Tim Anderson said in a research note that Lilly’s forecast for 2016 actually calls for “quite healthy” earnings and revenue growth compared to its peers, when the impact of foreign exchange rates is excluded.

Shares of Lilly, also known for the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis and its portfolio of cancer treatments, slipped 63 cents to $82.24 about 45 minutes ahead of the market opening Tuesday and after it released its forecast.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.’s stock soared 22 percent in 2015 and reached its highest prices in about 15 years before closing the year at $84.26. Meanwhile, the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell less than 1 percent.

The company plans to detail its fourth-quarter and full-year performance Jan. 28.

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