UPDATE 1-Lilly says it will be hard to reach 2014 revenue goal
Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co, which is trying to rebound from painful patent expirations on its medicines, said it would be able to meet its financial goals through 2014 with difficulty and announced it would buy back $5 billion of its stock over time.
Lilly said on Thursday that it would hard-pressed to meet its near-term financial goals because of slowing growth in emerging markets and the devaluation of Japan's yen. These "headwinds" will make it challenging for the company to achieve its minimum revenue goal of $20 billion in 2014, Chief Financial Officer Derica Rice said in a release.
The company, whose revenue and profits have tumbled since 2011 due to the loss of patent protection on its Zyprexa schizophrenia treatment and other drugs, also said it still expected $3 billion in net income and $4 billion in operating cash flow through 2014.
Many analysts in recent years had hoped Lilly would restore earnings growth by merging with another large drugmaker, but the Indianapolis company has vowed to remain independent and to bounce back with launches of important new products.
Revenue and earnings have begun to improve this year, but will plunge again after Lilly's $6 billion-a-year Cymbalta depression treatment goes generic in December.
Shares of Lilly were down 1 percent at $50.01 in trading before the market opened.