Pfizer or Eli Lilly: Whose Revenue Is Growing More Quickly?


Jan. 7 2019, Updated 2:25 p.m. ET

Revenue guidance

On its third-quarter earnings conference call, Pfizer (PFE) narrowed its 2018 revenue guidance range from $53.0 billion–$55.0 billion to $53.0 billion–$53.7 billion due to the weaker-than-expected performance of its Essential Health segment. Ongoing product shortages from its legacy Hospira sterile injectables business and unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations continued to drag on the company’s revenue performance in 2018.

In a press release issued on December 19, 2018, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) reiterated its 2018 revenue guidance of $24.3 billion–$24.5 billion. Eli Lilly expects its 2019 revenue to be in the range of $25.3 billion–$25.8 billion.

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According to its investor presentation, Eli Lilly is expected to report mid-single-digit YoY (year-over-year) revenue growth in 2019 (considering the midpoint of its revenue guidance projections for 2018 and 2019) despite an anticipated negative impact of 150 basis points due to unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations. The company has also revised its minimum revenue growth outlook upward from its previously projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5% to a CAGR of 6% for the period ranging from 2015 to 2020. Eli Lilly expects its human pharmaceutical business to report a CAGR of 7% for its revenue from 2015 to 2020.

Wall Street estimates

Wall Street analysts expect Pfizer’s revenues to be $53.59 billion, $54.50 billion, and $55.18 billion, respectively, in 2018, 2019, and 2020. These estimates imply YoY revenue growth rates of 1.99%, 1.70%, and 1.25%, respectively, for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

On the other hand, Wall Street analysts expect Eli Lilly’s revenues to be $24.43 billion, $25.41 billion, and $26.64 billion, respectively, in 2018, 2019, and 2020. These estimates imply YoY revenue growth rates of 6.80%, 4.04%, and 4.81%, respectively, for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Eli Lilly is thus expected to witness a better revenue growth trajectory than Pfizer in the coming years.

In the next article, we’ll compare the earnings growth prospects of Pfizer and Eli Lilly in greater detail.


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