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UPDATE 2-Allergan raises 2019 forecasts as Botox boosts results

(Adds details on Botox, Restasis sales, CEO and analyst comment, background)

May 7 (Reuters) - Allergan Plc raised its profit and revenue forecasts for the year on Tuesday as it beat expectations for quarterly profit, fueled by higher sales of its blockbuster anti-wrinkle injection Botox.

The company has received a big boost from Botox over the past several years, but investors are now looking at Allergan's pipeline for future drivers of growth.

"Many key R&D programs have made steady progress and we now anticipate five regulatory approvals over the next 18 months," Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders said.

Saunders, who stitched together the current version of Allergan through a series of deals to roll up several pharmaceutical companies in 2014, recently survived a vote to split the CEO and chairman roles.

Allergan's pipeline suffered a setback earlier this year when its much-touted depression treatment rapastinel failed clinical trials, leading the company to book a charge of $2.5 billion in the first quarter.

The drug failed three late-stage studies in March, deepening investor concerns around the drugmaker's pipeline as several of its key drugs face increasing competition.

Total Botox sales rose 6.3 percent to $868.4 million. Sales of dry-eye drug Restasis, which is expected to face competition from cheaper generic drugs, fell 11.7 percent to $242.1 million, because of lower net pricing.

"The raise in 2019 guidance is not unexpected, in our view, given the lack of generic entrants to Restasis," Citi analyst Liav Abraham said.

Excluding items, the company earned $3.79 per share, well above the average analyst estimate of $3.55, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $3.59 billion but beat the average Wall Street estimate of $3.54 billion.

The company said it now expects 2019 adjusted profit to be greater than $16.55 per share, compared with its prior expectation of profit greater than or equal to $16.36 per share.

Allergan now expects 2019 sales between $15.13 billion and $15.43 billion, compared with its prior forecast of $15.00 billion to $15.30 billion.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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