Product price increases and lower administrative and marketing costs propelled

King Pharmaceuticals


to a second quarter that easily beat Wall Street's sales and earnings estimates.

For the three months ended June 30, the Bristol, Tenn., drug company earned 46 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on sales of $499.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had predicted an EPS of 39 cents on sales of $464.7 million.

Using generally accepted accounting principles, King reported a second-quarter profit of $110.9 million, or 46 cents a share. For the same period last year, the company earned $20.5 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $462.9 million.

Revenue from brand-name drugs rose 5% to $419 million vs. the year-ago period "primarily due to price increases taken in the second half of 2005," the company said Wednesday.

King's bestselling drug, the blood pressure medication Altace, produced a 7%-gain in sales to $154 million. Sales of the muscle-pain treatment Skelaxin rose 12% to $97 million.

Shares of King rose 10 cents, or 0.6%, to $16.91.