Bristol, Lilly post double-digit sales hikes

It's that time of year again: Earnings season. Over the next several weeks pharma firms big and small will be reporting their performance numbers for last quarter and all of 2009. Today, we see that AstraZeneca boosted profits by 23 percent, but expects 2010 to be an uphill climb. Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb were also among today's announcements. Here's a roundup.

  • AstraZeneca reported a 24 percent profit hike to $1.55 billion as sales of its cholesterol drug Crestor and blood-pressure remedy Toprol XL rose and its H1N1 flu vaccine hit the books. Sales grew by 9 percent to $8.95 billion, beating analyst estimates. Release | Earnings

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb beat analyst estimates with its Q4 earnings of $818 million or 41 cents per share. Sales grew by 11 percent to $5.03 billion, with clotbuster Plavix, antipsychotic Abilify, and AIDS drugs all posting gains. Release | More

  • Eli Lilly reported Q4 profits of $915.4 million as its bestselling drug Zyprexa gained 19 percent to deliver $1.37 billion in sales alone. The cancer drug Alimta grew by a whopping 64 percent to $523.6 million. Total Lilly revenues for the quarter rose 14 percent to $5.93 billion. Release | Story

  • Celgene posted a fourth-quarter profit of $254 million and higher sales of its cancer drugs Revlimid and Vidaza, compared with a loss a year ago, when it was hurt by acquisition-related costs.  Release | Results

  • Diabetes drugmaker Amylin Pharmaceuticals said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $50.3 million from $105.2 million, as sales of its drugs held steady and restructuring costs were sharply lower. Release | Figures