said Wednesday that a 30% gain in third-quarter sales helped produce earnings that topped Wall Street's estimates.

In addition, the company said it expects to reach the "high end" of its earnings guidance -- a range of $1.65 to $1.75 a share -- for the full year. The Wall Street consensus, as tracked by Thomson First Call, anticipates a full-year EPS of $1.72.

"These results lead us to reiterate our goal for earnings growth of approximately 20% for 2005, despite the near-term dilutive impact" of the acquisition of

Ilex Oncology


," said Henri A. Termeer, chairman and CEO of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme.

Genzyme had expected to close the Ilex deal in the summer; but the proposed acquisition continues to be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission. Genzyme expects the transaction to be completed by year-end.

Genzyme earned $115.9 million, or 49 cents a share, on revenue of $569.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30 excluding special charges and amortization.

For the third quarter, the average analyst estimate was a profit of $105.6 million, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $556.3 million, according to Thomson First Call.

The company had been predicting third-quarter EPS of 42 cents to 44 cents excluding amortization. Genzyme said it exceeded its guidance due to higher product sales, greater control of expenses, and the delay in its closing of the acquisition of Ilex Oncology.

On a GAAP basis, Genzyme said it earned $97.8 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with a loss of 95.7 million, or 43 cents a share, for the same period last year. Third quarter revenue jumped to $569.2 million from $437 million.

Genzyme's third-quarter revenue growth was aided by Renagel, a drug for patients with end-stage kidney disease, which grew 24% to $93.3 million from the same period last year. Several drugs for rare diseases had combined sales of $282.4 million, up 27% from the same period last year. Revenue for the diagnostics/genetics business gained 66% to $77.6 million.

Genzyme's stock on Wednesday was down $1.04, or 2%, to $51.45.