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Eli Lilly's third-quarter profit beats Street estimates as costs fall

Eli Lily and Company's President and CEO John Lechleiter speaks during the APEC CEO summit in Honolulu, Hawaii November 11, 2011.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co (LLY.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as expenses fell and sales of its diabetes and cancer drugs rose.

Net profit rose to $799.7 million, or 75 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $500.6 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the...