Lilly profit beats forecast, helped by lower taxes

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:54am EDT

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) on Wednesday reported higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings, helped by favorable taxes and higher sales of its treatments for diabetes, depression and lung cancer.

The company said net income rose to $1.55 billion, or $1.42 per share, from $1.01 billion, or 91 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding special items, the company earned $1.14 per share. Analysts on average were expecting $1.05.

Lilly spokesman Mark Taylor said the earnings beat appeared to have been because some analysts had not accounted for a sharply lower tax rate in the first quarter due to reinstatement of a federal tax credit for research and development at the beginning of the year.

The company's effective tax rate in the quarter was 15.5 percent, compared with almost 24.5 percent in the year-earlier period.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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