Lilly offers upbeat 2005 outlook

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Eli Lilly executives on Thursday told financial analysts that 2005 earnings should exceed expectations, primarily because sales of its newer drugs will offset a sales decline for schizophrenia drug Zyprexa.
The company forecast 2005 earnings of between $3.05 and $3.15 per share before special items. Reuters reported that analysts, on average, had expected earnings of $3.12 per share.
Lilly made its forecasts at an annual meeting with investors in New York. The firm also said it expects to add three new products in 2005, and it expects Cymbalta to be approved in Europe (for treating depression) and drugs for stress urinary incontinence and type 2 diabetes to win U.S. approval. Lilly said it is on track to submit a marketing application to U.S. regulators next year for its drug to treat symptoms related to nerve damage caused by diabetes, according to Reuters.
Sales of new product are expected to double as a percent of total sales next year to 20 percent, chief executive Sidney Taurel told analysts. Sales growth next year, which will accelerate in the second half will be virtually all tied to new products, "thereby minimizing our dependence on any single product," Taurel said, according to a Reuters report on the meeting.

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