Covidien Stock Falls on Sales Slip

Shares of health care company Covidien slip in early trading on Thursday as sales of drugs and medical supplies decline.
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) -- Health care company



is falling in early trading on Thursday even though its earnings beat Street expectations.

Covidien experienced a 6% drop in sales of its pharmaceuticals versus the prior year, even as sales of its medical devices rose 6%. Medical supply sales declined 3%.

There has been a negative tenor throughout the health-care earnings season to this point, with fears about the macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. and Europe weighing on health-care company shares. In particular, drug sales into Europe have been a key point of concern as investors fear a continued European push to cut health care spending. The U.S. employment scenario and lower volume of patient business also continues to be a big concern.

Covidien earned 85 cents a share, five cents above the Street consensus. Profit of $364 million was ahead of the third quarter last year, when profit came in at $281 million.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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