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Pfizer's profit boost

PFIZER, the drug-maker trying to buy UK firm AstraZeneca in what would be one of the biggest industry deals ever, reported profit that beat analyst earnings estimates as the company cut costs to offset falling sales.

Pfizer, which employs about 3,200 people in Ireland, reported first-quarter earnings, excluding one-time items, of 57 cents a share, two cents above the average expected by analysts.