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Thermo Fisher second-quarter profit narrowly beats estimates

(Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc reported a second-quarter profit that was slightly ahead of analysts' expectation, and said it was making progress in planning for its $13.6 billion acquisition of genetic testing company Life Technologies Inc .

Thermo Fisher, the world's largest maker of laboratory equipment and scientific instruments, said its net profit rose to $277.4 million, or 76 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 29 from $233.8 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding special items, Thermo Fisher earned $1.32 per share.

Analysts on average expected $1.30 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company raised the low end of its full-year earnings forecast by 2 cents per share to account for the second quarter performance, but slightly lowered its revenue projection due to unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates.

The strength of the dollar against the yen in particular has hurt sales of companies doing business in Japan this year.

Thermo Fisher, which last month said it was offering more than $2 billion of common stock and entered into a $7.5 billion credit agreement to help fund the Life Tech purchase, said the deal remained on track to close in early 2014.

"I'm pleased to report that the integration planning teams are making great progress," Thermo Fisher Chief Executive Marc Casper said in a statement.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $3.24 billion in the second quarter, roughly in line with Wall Street forecasts of $3.22 billion.

Sales of laboratory products and services rose 3 percent in the quarter to $1.58 billion, while sales from Thermo's analytical technologies unit rose 4 percent to $1.01 billion.

The specialty diagnostics business rose 8 percent to $794 million.

Thermo Fisher said it now expects full-year earnings of $5.29 to $5.39 per share, excluding items. The company forecast revenue of $12.83 billion to $12.95 billion versus its prior view of $12.84 billion to $13.00 billion.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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