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Lilly Profit Rises, But Company Cuts 2008 Forecast

Eli Lilly said on Thursday that second-quarter earnings rose on higher sales of its prescription drugs and sharply lower taxes, but the company cut its 2008 profit forecast due to special charges.

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The Indianapolis drug maker said it earned $959 million, or 88 cents per share, compared with $664 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier, when it took big merger-related charges.

Excluding one-time costs for restructuring and an acquisition, the company said it earned 99 cents per share. Analysts had been expecting a dollar per share.

"We had some additional expenses during the quarter that included our preparation to launch [the blood thinning drug] Prasugrel. which has not yet been approved by the FDA," Lilly chief executive John Lechleiter told CNBC. "We made investments behind promotional activities for Cymbalta and Evista; we also had litigation expense driving up our op(erational) ex(penses) for the second quarter."