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We expect Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Analyst Report) to beat earnings expectations when it reports first-quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on Apr 24, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Eli Lilly has the right combination of two key ingredients to beat earnings.

Positive Zacks ESP: The earnings Expected Surprise Prediction (ESP) (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) for Eli Lilly is +3.85% – the difference between the Most Accurate earnings estimate of $1.08 per share and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.04 per share. This indicates a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Note that stocks with Zacks Rank of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. The Sell rated stocks (#4 and #5) should never be considered while going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Eli Lilly’s Zacks Rank and Earnings ESP makes us confident of a positive earnings surprise in the to-be-reported quarter.

Drivers of Better-than-Expected Earnings

This global healthcare company has delivered positive earnings surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 7.47%. Eli Lilly boasts of a wide range of products that serve a vast number of therapeutic areas. The company focuses primarily on central nervous system disorders, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, which are all high growth areas and represent significant commercial potential.

We are also impressed by Eli Lilly’s efforts to expand in key markets. Moreover, the company’s efforts to develop its pipeline are encouraging.

Other Stocks to Consider

Eli Lilly is not the only company looking up this earnings season. Here are some other stocks you may want to consider as our model shows these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) has an earnings ESP of +2.08% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.

VIVUS Inc. (VVUS - Analyst Report) has an earnings ESP of +11.77% and holds a Zacks Rank #3.

Novartis (NVS - Analyst Report) has an earnings ESP of +0.80% and holds a Zacks Rank #3.

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