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Wyeth Q2 profit up 13% to beat views

DRUG maker Wyeth yesterday posted a 13 percent jump in second-quarter profit, trouncing Wall Street forecasts, as cost cuts overcame lower sales due to generic competition and the strong dollar.

The maker of children's vaccine Prevnar and antidepressant Effexor also hiked its 2009 profit forecast.

Madison, New Jersey-based Wyeth, the world's No. 12 pharmaceutical company by sales, is being bought by No. 1 drug maker Pfizer Inc later this year.

Wyeth said its net income amounted to US$1.27 billion, or 94 cents per share. That's up from US$1.12 billion, or 83 cents a share, a year earlier.

Wyeth said without US$44.9 million in restructuring costs and US$21.2 million in costs for the acquisition by Pfizer, net income would have been 98 cents per share. That was 13 cents more than Wall Street expected.

Revenue declines

Revenue dropped 4 percent, to US$5.7 billion from US$5.95 billion, as the strong dollar reduced worldwide income about 6 percentage points.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings per share of 85 cents and revenue of US$5.58 billion.

Meanwhile, Wyeth raised its 2009 profit forecast to a range of US$3.48 to US$3.58 per share, from a range of US$3.33 to US$3.53.

On Monday, Wyeth shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the Pfizer deal, which still requires approval by antitrust regulators in the United States and a few other countries.

The two companies are working on selling parts of their animal health businesses to gain approval.

"We remain focused on delivering strong performance as we work with Pfizer toward the successful integration of our two companies," Wyeth Chief Executive Bernard Poussot said in a statement.

"Wyeth's results reflect the ongoing strength of our biotechnology and vaccine franchises," as well as infant formula and other nutrition items sold in many foreign countries, he said.

Excluding currency effects, sales rose 24 percent to US$783 million for Prevnar, the world's top-selling vaccine, which protects against pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases.


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