Lilly: Cut costs without 'sweeping layoffs'

Eli Lilly is scuttling its 2008 profit forecast, citing the costs of buying ImClone Systems. The $6.5 billion acquisition will spawn a charge against earnings of $4.05 to $4.50 a share, which will eat up previously expected earnings of $2.44 to $2.49 a share, leaving a loss of up to $2.06.

But without those charges, Lilly predicts healthy EPS of $3.97 to $4.02. And for 2009, the company is looking for $4.30 to $4.55 in EPS. That's because Lilly is counting on big sales growth again next year, powered by growth in Cymbalta, Alimta, Cialis, and Humalog--and, knock on wood, the launch of its long-awaited anticlotting med prasugrel.

Execs are telling analysts and investors this morning that Lilly plans to continue "fundamentally transforming" its business. That means more cost-cutting, more streamlining and more pipeline work. That might sound scary to Lilly employees--except for the fact that the company says it has no plans to make sweeping layoffs.

- see the MarketWatch story
- read the column at the Indianapolis Star