Shire raises outlook after Q1 earnings beat

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Shire (LSE: SHP.L - news) , a pharmaceutical group created by acquisition, soundly beat expectations with a 38 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, underlining its own appeal as a target in the latest wave of deal making in the sector.

Shire, which has franchises in drugs to treat hyperactivity and rare diseases, reported earnings per share-ADS of $2.36, its preferred measure, on revenue of $1.35 billion, boosted by strong sales across its portfolio.

The group raised its outlook for earnings growth this year to mid-to-high 20 percent growth from its previous prediction of similar growth to the 23 percent it recorded in 2013.

Allergan Inc (NYSE: AGN - news) , the botox maker, is preparing a takeover approach for Dublin-based Shire, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Shire, which has a market capitalization of $33 billion, has long outpaced its big pharma rivals growing revenues and profits. Its base in Dublin, which has a lower rate of corporation tax than many countries including the United States, adds to its appeal.

Analysts expected Shire to post revenue of $1.38 billion and non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $2.22, according to a company compiled poll of 19 brokers.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)