5 gennaio 2012 / 13:27 / tra 6 anni

Lilly projects sharp drop in 2012 profit

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co (LLY.N) forecast a steeper-than-expected decline in profit for 2012, the first full year without exclusive rights to its big-selling Zyprexa schizophrenia treatment.

Shares fell 3.5 percent after Lilly announced its forecast on Thursday.

The drugmaker projected earnings in the range of $3.10 per share to $3.20 per share for 2012. For 2011, Lilly said it expects to meet or exceed its profit forecast of $4.30 per share to $4.35 per share, excluding items. Including items, Lilly sees 2011 earnings per share of $3.84 to $3.89.

Analysts were looking for $3.61 per share in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Zyprexa, a $4.5 billion-a-year product, began facing competition in October from low-cost generic versions in the United States.

Reporting By Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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