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Eli Lilly 2012 profit forecast misses expectations
Drugmaker Eli Lilly's 2012 profit forecast falls below analysts' expectations
By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ' Eli Lilly and Co. forecasts a steeper-than-expected earnings drop this year due to the expiration of a patent protecting its top-selling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa.

The Indianapolis drugmaker says it will earn between $3.10 and $3.20 per share in 2012. It expects Zyprexa revenue to plunge by over $3 billion. Zyprexa rang up more than $5 billion in 2010 sales. Its U.S. patent expired last fall, exposing it to cheaper generic competition.

Lilly's forecast falls well short of analysts' expectations. They forecast earnings of $3.60 per share in the new year. The company's 2012 prediction would mean a drop of between 26 percent and 28 percent from its forecast for earnings of $4.30 to $4.35 per share in 2011.

Shares fell $1.36, or 3.3 percent, to $39.35 in pre-market trading.

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