Eli Lilly’s Net Income Up 15% Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, whose stock tumbled in August after it lost a patent battle over its antidepressant Prozac, reported today a 15 percent rise in third-quarter net income on strong sales of drugs for schizophrenia, cancer and osteoporosis.

The Indianapolis-based company said net income rose to $778.8 million, or 71 cents per diluted share, excluding a one-time gain.

Analysts on average had predicted Lilly would earn 71 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. The company said on Aug. 9 that it expects single-digit earnings growth in 2001 and 2002, primarily because of a court ruling that would trigger expiration of patent protection over Prozac in mid-2001, opening the way to generic competition.

Lilly reported a 9 percent increase in third-quarter revenues, to $2.812 billion, led by sales of the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, the cancer drug Gemzar, and the osteoporosis drug Evista. Separately, Sepracor said Lilly had terminated a licensing deal involving the drug R-fluoxetine, closely related to the active ingredient in Prozac, and had returned the rights to the product to Sepracor.

Shares of Lilly, which were trading at a year high of $108-15/16 in August before falling 31 percent on a federal judge’s ruling on Prozac, closed at $89-1/4 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Lilly’s 52-week low is $54.


Equifax Up 11% on Revenue

Equifax, a provider of consumer credit information, said today third-quarter net income rose 11 percent as revenues from payment services increased.

Equifax reported net income of $64.3 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, compared with $58.1 million, or 42 cents, in the year-earlier period. The results edged ahead of analysts’ average expectations of 46 cents a share, according to market research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

Total revenues rose 17 percent to $517.9 million. North American payment services revenues rose 11 percent to $194.2 million.

Equifax, which on Oct. 2 said it would spin off its payment services division to shareholders, also said it has sold its collection services businesses in the United States, Canada and England for about $150 million. The company said it will use the net cash proceeds of the deal, about $100 million, to pay down debt.

Equifax said it sold the U.S. unit of Equifax Risk Management Services to Atlanta-based Risk Management Alternatives Parent Inc. IntelliRisk Management Corp., based in Columbus, Ohio, bought the Canadian and British operations, Equifax said. BACK TO TOP

First Union Tops Estimates

First Union, the No. 6 U.S. bank holding company, said today its third-quarter profits rose 6 percent, topping estimates, as it turns around its operations after prior unwieldy acquisitions.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, which has about $260 billion in assets and more than 2,200 branches, earned $852 million, or 86 cents a diluted share in the quarter, compared with $802 million, or 84 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding gains and restructuring charges, the company earned $702 million, or 71 cents a share, in the quarter.

Wall Street had expected the bank to earn 69 cents a share in the quarter, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks analysts’ consensus earnings forecasts.

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