UPDATE 2-Abbott lifts profit forecast as it integrates St. Jude deal

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July 20 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories on Thursday raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast as the diversified healthcare company gains from its $25 billion acquisition of medical devices maker St. Jude Medical earlier this year

The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 3 cents to a range of $2.43 per share to $2.53 per share.

Abbott, which agreed to buy troubled diagnostics company Alere Inc for a revised value of $5.30 billion in April, reported second-quarter profit of 62 cents per share, edging past estimates by 1 cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose to $6.64 billion from $5.33 billion, matching the analysts' average estimate. The company said sales growth was hurt by the implementation of a new tax regime in India.

More than half of Abbott's revenue came from sales outside the United States in the latest quarter.

Abbott's shares, already up 29 percent through Wednesday's close, gained 1.1 percent to $49.95 in premarket trading.

"This showing is sufficient to support the stock, especially given the improvements we expect for the St. Jude business over the next 12 months," Cowen & Co's Joshua Jennings wrote in a client note.

Sales in Abbott's three core divisions - diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals - rose on a reported basis in the quarter, with nutritional products business the only laggard.

Sales in medical devices, Abbott's largest division, surged about 89 percent to $2.60 billion.

Global nutrition sales slipped 0.6 percent.

The company's pediatric business has been under pressure since last year after China imposed new food safety regulations that required manufacturers to re-register baby formulas with the government.

Net profit from continuing operations more than halved to $270 million, or 15 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 due to higher costs.

(Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)