Shares in Eli Lilly were 1% higher in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the pharmaceuticals group beat fourth-quarter results expectations.
Both quarterly earnings and revenue exceeded market forecasts, while US tax changes enabled the company to also raise its guidance for 2018.
Eli Lilly cited the strong performance of its products as well as good cost control.
“Lilly's new products, including Trulicity, Taltz and Jardiance, continued to drive solid revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, while we maintained flat operating expenses," said chief executive David A. Ricks.
The company struck an upbeat tone on the outlook for 2018, highlighting the recent approval of Taltz in the US and EU for active psoriatic arthritis, along with the encouraging signs in the early use of its Verzenio treatment for breast cancer.
Ricks said the company also expected “further pipeline progress in 2018 in areas of significant patient need, including cancer, immunologic disorders, diabetes, neurodegeneration and pain.”
Eli Lilly reported adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share versus consensus estimates of $1.07. Revenue came it at $6.2bn versus expectations of $5.9bn, with quarterly sales rising 7% year on year.
With its effective tax rate for 2018 falling to 18% versus 20.5% in 2017 owing to US tax reform, Lilly was also able to raise its earnings per share guidance for the 2018 year to a range of $4.81 to $4.91, outpacing prior market estimates of $4.68.
However, tax reform also resulted in a $1.9bn one-off charge in the fourth quarter.