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Wyeth Beats Profit Forecast; Raises 2007 Outlook

Wyeth reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings Thursday on strong sales growth of its prescription drugs, and it raised its profit forecast for the year.

The drug maker said it earned $1.2 billion, or 87 cents per share, up from $1.06 billion, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, Wyeth earned 90 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected 87 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Wyeth's revenue rose 10% in the quarter to $5.65 billion, above Wall Street expectations of $5.48 billion. It would have risen only 7% if not for positive foreign exchange factors.

Global revenue from prescription drugs grew 11% to $4.75 billion, fueled by sales of the company's Prevnar vaccine to prevent childhood infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, ulcer drug Protonix and Enbrel for arthritis.

Sales of consumer health products, including Centrum vitamins and Advil painkiller, rose 4% to $623 million, while revenue from the company's animal health products rose 2% to $279 million.

In view of favorable financial trends, Wyeth raised its full-year profit forecast, excluding special items, to between $3.48 per share and $3.56 per share. It had previously projected $3.40 to $3.50.

The updated forecast translates into profit growth of 10.8% to 13.3%, compared with last year.

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