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Bull of the Day: Eli Lilly (LLY)

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Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) is a rare big cap with rising earnings estimates. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to see double digit earnings growth in 2020 and 2021.

Lilly is a global drug manufacturer with an interest in diabetes, oncology, immunology and neuroscience.

Another Collaboration Announced

On Mar 31, Lilly announced an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration with Sitryx, a biopharmaceutical company focused on regulating cell metabolism to develop disease-modifying therapeutics in immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation.

The collaboration witll target potential new medicines for autoimmune diseases.

Sitryx is receiging a payment of $50 million and Lilly will make a $10 million equity investment in Sitryx.

Lilly doesn't expect the transaction to impact their 2020 non-GAPP earnings guidance.

Double Digit Earnings Growth in 2020 and 2021

The analysts are still bullish about 2020 and 2021 even with the coronavirus crisis.

According to Zacks data, no analysts have lowered earnings estimates for 2020 in the last 60 days.

Instead, the estimates have been revised higher during that time.

The 2020 Zacks Consensus Estimate has risen to $6.77 from $6.75 in the last 90 days.

That's earnings growth of 12.1% as the company made $6.04 last year.

Analysts are bullish about 2021 as well. They see another earnings gain of 17.2% with the Zacks Consensus Estimate jumping to $7.93.

Shares Are Up in 2020

While the S&P 500 has fallen 20% year-to-date on the coronavirus crisis, Lilly is up 3.8%, although, it's been a volatile ride over the last month.

Investors are seeing Lilly's shares as a place to hide out during the storm.

Investors won't get it dirt cheap. That safety factor comes at a price.

It still trades with a forward P/E of 20.5.

But that P/E reflects its business strength in this uncertain global economy.

As an added bonus, Lilly also pays a dividend, currently yielding 2.1%.

For investors looking for a big cap with solid growth, Lilly is one to keep on the short list.

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