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

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 8:51 AM ET

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

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co on Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by cost cuts and a big price increase for Cymbalta, its top-selling antidepressant that begins facing generic competition in December.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lilly said it expects full-year earnings of $4.10 to $4.15 per share, excluding special items. It had forecast $4.05 to $4.15 per share.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)