REFILE-UPDATE 1-Shire raises outlook after forecast-beating quarter

Thu May 1, 2014 10:28am EDT
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(Corrects typo in spelling of Valeant Pharma in para 4)

* First-quarter earnings up a forecast-beating 38 pct

* Raises 2014 growth target percentage to mid-to-high twenties

* CEO declines to comment on M&A speculation

* Shares up 1.7 pct

By Paul Sandle

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Shire, a pharmaceutical group created by acquisition, soundly beat expectations for first-quarter earnings and raised its outlook on Thursday, underlining its own appeal as a target in the merger frenzy gripping the sector.

The London-listed group, which has franchises in drugs to treat hyperactivity and rare diseases, reported earnings per share of $2.36, by its preferred non-GAAP measure, on revenue of $1.35 billion, boosted by strong sales of its ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drug Vyvanse.

The group raised its outlook for earnings growth this year to a percentage in the mid-to-high twenties from its previous prediction of similar growth to the 23 percent recorded in 2013.   Continued...