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posted third-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations by a penny.

The Irish pharmaceutical and drug delivery company earned 41 cents a share, excluding an investment gain, up from 32 cents a share a year earlier. Net income rose to $153.8 million from $90.4 million in the third quarter of 1999. Sixteen analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the company to earn 40 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $323.2 million from $253.4 million a year earlier. Product revenue increased to $201.7 million from $133.1 million last year.

Elan said in September that it would acquire

Dura Pharmaceuticals


. The merger is awaiting approval by Dura's shareholders, who are set to vote at a special meeting scheduled for Nov 9.

Dura reported third-quarter earnings, excluding nonrecurring charges, of 9 cents a share, compared with 13 cents a share a year ago. Dura's third-quarter revenue fell to $70.1 million from $71.6 million, but pharmaceutical sales rose to $58 million from $54.3 million.