Drugmaker Eli Lilly beats estimates, raises 2018 profit forecast

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Jan 31 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by demand for new diabetes and psoriasis treatments, while raising its adjusted earnings forecast for 2018 due to U.S. tax changes.

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The U.S. drugmaker raised its 2018 adjusted earnings per share forecast to $4.81 to $4.91 from $4.60-$4.70.

However, the company incurred $1.94 billion in charges in the fourth quarter related to the overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

The company also recognized asset impairment, restructuring and other charges of $1 billion in the quarter, primarily due to its cost-reduction efforts, including the U.S. voluntary early retirement program.

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The charges pushed Lilly to a net loss of $1.66 billion, or $1.58 per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a year-ago profit of $771.8 million, or 73 cents per share.

Excluding items, it earned $1.14 per share.

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Revenue rose nearly 7 percent to $6.16 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.07 per share and revenue of $5.94 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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