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Fighting Competition, Bristol-Myers Meets Estimates

Sales of patent-protected Glucophage and Pravachol were well up from last year.

Pharmaceutical giant

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report

, losing sales to cheaper generic drugs, matched Wall Street earnings estimates for the third quarter.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb also matched Wall Street expectations in the third quarter, posting earnings of $1.23 billion, or 63 cents per share, compared to earnings of $1.13 billion, or 57 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Total sales during the quarter rose 4% to $4.7 billion.

The big story out of the New York-based drugmaker is the sharp drop in key drug revenue due to the loss of patent protection. Sales of the anticancer drug Taxol fell 33% during the quarter to $279 million, while sales of Buspar, an antianxiety medicine, sank 84% to $28 million.

Bristol-Myers compensated by reporting gains in other key drugs still protected by patents. Glucophage, a drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, posted third-quarter sales of $702 million, a 44% increase over last year. Sales of the cholesterol drug Pravachol rose 26% to $561 million in the third quarter.

In recent trading, Bristol-Myers was up 21 cents, or 0.4%, to $59.91.