February 28, 2024

Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly sold $176 million of its new weight-loss drug Zepbound in just under a month, according to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report released Tuesday (Feb.6). Zepbound, a GLP-1 weight loss drug similar to Ozempic and Wegovy (both made by Novo Nordisk), launched in December.

Demand for Zepbound and Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug Mounjaro, which has also been used off-label for weight loss, has propelled the company’s profit to $2.2 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, up 13% from $1.9 billion in the same period the year prior.

The company’s revenue in the fourth quarter soared 28% year-over-year to $9.4 billion, from $7.3 billion.

Earnings per share came to $2.49, beating Wall Street expectations of $2.47, according to a consensus estimate by Zacks Investment Research.

Supply constraints in 2024

Eli Lilly projects that its 2024 revenue will reach between $40.4 billion and $41.6 billion. Its revenue in 2023 was $34 billion. The company also anticipates high demand for its weight loss drug in the coming year.

“The company continues to execute on its manufacturing expansion agenda, however, given strong demand and the time required to bring manufacturing capacity fully online, the company expects that demand for incretins [GLP-1s] is likely to outpace supply in 2024,” the company said in a press release.

Eli Lilly stock has jumped nearly 4% to $732 during Tuesday morning trading. The company’s market cap currently stands at $670 billion, the highest of any healthcare company globally.

Last week, head of healthcare sector strategy for Norway’s sovereign wealth fund Gemma Game predicted that Eli Lilly could be one of the first healthcare companies to reach a trillion dollar market cap. That exclusive club is currently made up of tech and oil companies.

“Perhaps in the future we’ll be talking about Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk as the world’s first trillion-dollar health care companies,” Game said, at a press conference on Tuesday (Jan. 30).

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