Lilly beats estimates on newly bulked-up animal health unit

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly ($LLY) said Thursday that it earned 87 cents per share in the first quarter of 2015--10 cents more than analysts had expected--an achievement the company attributed largely to its $5.4 billion acquisition of Novartis ($NVS) Animal Health. That addition created the second-largest animal health company behind Zoetis ($ZTS), and it pushed Lilly's veterinary revenues up 42% year over year to $750 million. The news wasn't all good, however. Novartis and Lilly actually had a slight year-over-year decline in animal health sales when the first-quarter 2014 results of both companies were taken into account. Lilly attributed the declines to increased U.S. competition for companion animal products and the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates. Article | Release

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