UPDATE 2-Lilly beats Wall St Q3 expectations, helped by cost cuts

Reuters

(In third paragraph, corrects that Lilly earned $1.11 pershare, not Bristol-Myers)

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co on Wednesdayreported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by costcuts and a big price increase for Cymbalta, its top-sellingantidepressant that begins facing generic competition inDecember.

The Indianapolis drugmaker earned $1.20 billion, or $1.11per share, in the third quarter. That compared with $1.33billion, or $1.18 per share, in the year-earlier period, when ittook special charges related to a partnership agreement.

Excluding special items, Lilly earned $1.11 per share.Analysts, on average, expected $1.04, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.

Company sales rose 6 percent to $5.78 billion, slightlyabove Wall Street expectations of $5.76 billion, with most ofthe revenue growth coming from price increases on its medicines.Global company sales would have risen 8 percent, if not for theweaker dollar, which lowers the value of sales in overseasmarkets.

The company squeezed 11 percent growth for itsanti-depressant Cymbalta by raising prices, bring its sales to$1.38 billion. But the number of prescriptions filled forLilly's flagship product declined during the quarter.

Sales of lung cancer drug Alimta rose 7 percent to $691million, while anti-impotence treatment Cialis jumped 9 percentto $527 million. Sales of osteoporosis drug Evista, which losespatent protection early next year, were up 3 percent to $256million.

Lilly's marketing, selling and administrative expensesshrank by 6 percent in the quarter.

Lilly said it expects full-year earnings of $4.10 to $4.15per share, excluding special items. It had forecast $4.05 to$4.15 per share. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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