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Lilly quarterly sales soundly beat forecasts

Eli Lilly reported quarterly revenue well above Wall Street expectations, although overall revenue declined due to generic competition for the company's Cymbalta depression treatment.

Lilly shares were little changed in premarket trading following the report. (Click here for the latest quote.)

The U.S. drugmaker on Thursday said it had earned $728 million, or 67 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $827 million, or 74 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter, when Lilly took charges for asset impairments and restructuring.

Excluding special items, Lilly earned 74 cents per share, matching the analysts' average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Global sales fell 2 percent to $5.81 billion, but topped Wall Street forecasts of $5.46 billion.

By Reuters

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