Drugmaker Eli Lilly beats estimates, raises 2018 profit forecast

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.

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

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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.

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.

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)