Glaxo, Lilly earnings up; Pfizer down

Earnings season is in full swing now, with a coterie of Big Pharma putting out their numbers. The strong dollar is weighing on many drugmakers, while others are beating expectations on currency gains.

  • Pfizer reported lower second-quarter earnings--$2.26 billion or 34 cents per share--due largely to costs associated with its impending takeover of rival Wyeth and the negative impact of an unfavorable exchange rate on sales. Revenue fell 9 percent to $10.98 billion.

  • GlaxoSmithKline's numbers suffered from generic competition, but the company said it's seeing strength in consumer healthcare and especially in vaccines. Meanwhile, Glaxo ramped up production of its Relenza swine flu therapy, expecting to triple capacity by year's end. Sales grew 14 percent to almost $11 billion on currency effects; without forex, sales would have dropped 2 percent. Profit grew 12 percent to $3.28 billion.

  • Eli Lilly said profit rose 21 percent to $1.16 billion or $1.06 per share, beating analysts' estimates. Lilly benefited from rising sales of its Cymbalta antidepressant and gains from favorable currency rates. Revenues rose to $5.29 billion. "Most of the surprise in results were because they got a big benefit on the gross margin because of currency," Deutsche Bank analyst Barbara Ryan told Bloomberg. "The focus from here is clearly on Effient and its launch."

  • Forest Laboratories saw quarterly earnings rise to $262.9 million or 87 cents per share, as strong sales of its drugs for Alzheimer's disease, hypertension and fibromyalgia helped offset declining sales of its antidepressant Lexapro. Revenues came in 4.3 percent higher at $1.008 billion.

  • Gilead Sciences boosted quarterly profit by 31 percent to $571.4 million on higher sales of its HIV drugs, but some sales went to inventory. Revenues rose 29 percent to $1.65 billion. "These are pretty strong results, a more than 10 percent beat," Morgan Joseph managing director Shiv Kapoor told Reuters. "Gilead's current revenue, Gilead's current HIV franchise continues to be very strong, much stronger than folks' expectation."

  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals cut its second-quarter loss to $62.4 million, largely on cost reductions taken in recent quarters. The loss included a $11.4 million charge on sales-force job cuts. Revenues dropped 6 percent to $209.4 million as sales of the company's diabetes meds faltered.

Stay tuned for more earnings reports; we're not finished quite yet.

- get the Pfizer figures from MarketWatch
- see Bloomberg's Lilly coverage
- read more on Glaxo in the Financial Times
- find Forest's details at Reuters
- see the Gilead article, also at Reuters
- get more on Amylin from the San Diego Union-Tribune