Updated from 6:11 p.m. EST

Wyeth

(WYE)

said Monday that earnings in 2006 should be in the range of $2.97 to $3.07 a share, including the impact of expensing stock options. That prediction appears to be within the range of analysts' estimates.

"This 2006 earnings projection represents an increase targeted at 10% over 2005," Robert Essner, chairman and CEO of Wyeth, said in a prepared statement. "Our expectations for 2006 reflect solid ongoing operating performance driven both by revenue growth and cost control."

The 2006 forecast excludes restructuring charges.

Wyeth previously announced that 2005's profit would be in the range of $2.63 to $2.73 a share, including the expensing of stock options. Excluding those costs, Wyeth has said 2005 earnings would be $2.80 to $2.90. On Monday, the company said its results will "slightly exceed the upper end" of this range.

Wyeth estimates that stock-option expensing in 2006 will amount to 12 cents to 15 cents a share. If these expenses were excluded, earnings would be in the range of $3.09 to $3.22 a share.

The consensus target of analysts polled by Thomson First Call is for 2006 EPS of $3.16. First Call calculations usually exclude one-time charges and gains.

The company, which announced its 2006 outlook after markets had closed, will issue formal sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and 2005 on Jan. 31. In regular trading Monday, the stock lost 24 cents to close at $47.52. After hours, shares of Wyeth gained 47 cents.

Wyeth's 2005 estimate excludes the one-time effect of repatriating foreign subsidiary earnings for domestic use under a special tax holiday law, as well as any restructuring charges. The Madison, N.J., company is repatriating $3.1 billion in earnings at a sharply reduced tax rate.

Initially, Wyeth predicted 2005 earnings of $2.70 to $2.80, but in June it raised its guidance to $2.80 to $2.90. In October, the company said the year's earnings would "more than likely" meet or exceed the top end of that range if the then-current trends continued.

Analysts have slowly raised their 2005 EPS estimates, with the most recent consensus figure of $2.95 on revenue of $18.9 billion, according to Thomson First Call. Analysts expect a fourth-quarter 2005 profit of 62 cents a share on revenue of $4.9 billion.

Wyeth also said Monday that net revenue for 2006 is expected to grow in the mid- to upper-single-digit range. Selling, general and administrative expenses are likely to increase at a low single-digit rate, and research and development expenses are projected to rise at roughly the same rate as revenue.

Interest expenses this year will be "significantly higher" than 2005 because of payments emanating from the fen-phen diet drug litigation. Wyeth has set aside

$21.1 billion in reserves related to the lawsuits over two drugs it pulled from the market in 1997.

Wyeth added that the category called "other income" will "decrease substantially as a result of lower royalty income and lower gains from product divestitures."