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Eli Lilly To Lay Off 5,500 Workers

INDIANAPOLIS ( TheStreet) -- Eli Lilly (LLY - Get Report) will lay off some 5,500 employees by the end of 2011, as the drugmaker prepares to face a slew of patent expirations, including one on its best-selling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa.

The Indianapolis company also said it would reorganize itself into four business units and strive to cut costs by $1 billion a year, also by the end 2011.

Or, as Lilly called the moves in its press release announcing the layoffs and the restructuring: "Lilly Unveils Blueprint for Speeding Innovative Medicines to Patients."

The job cuts will bring the company's work force to 35,500 from 40,500. But Lilly also said it expects to hire people in emerging markets and in Japan, where business is growing fastest.

Layoffs

Lilly also kept its earnings guidance for the year at the already forecast $4.20 to $4.30 a share, excluding charges. Wall Street analysts have a per-share profit estimate of $4.28 a share.

Lilly shares were trading recently at $33.03, up 21 cents, or 0.6%.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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