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Novartis Sees Record Results

The forecast follows a report that revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose 13%.


(NVS) - Get Novartis AG Report

rose Thursday after the Swiss drug giant's top executive predicted the company would achieve another year of record sales and earnings.

The comments from Dr. Daniel Vasella, chairman and CEO, accompanied third-quarter results in which net income rose 12% from last year to $1.87 billion, or 80 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 gained 13% to $9.48 billion.

Vasella didn't provide numbers in his forecast, although the company reaffirmed its expectation of "double-digit net sales growth" as well as "record levels of operating

income and net income" this year.

Novartis' stock was up $2.22, or 3.8% to $60.09, on volume that was more than triple the daily average. With its closing price, the stock set a 52-week high.

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Novartis' gain was aided in part by the company's

April acquisition of


, the California maker of vaccines and diagnostic products. These items produced sales of $374 million.

Prescription drugs, which included some Chiron products, rose 13% to $5.78 billion for the third quarter. Generic-drug sales declined 4% to $1.43 billion, while consumer-products sales rose 4% to $1.91 billion.

Among Novartis's biggest products, the blood pressure drug Diovan recorded third-quarter sales of $1.09 billion, up 18% from the year-ago period. Sales for the cancer drug Gleevec rose 19% to $653 million, and revenue from the blood-pressure drug Lotrel gained 32% to $355 million. Sales of the cancer-pain drug Zometa added 5% to $317 million.

Big-percentage gainers included the breast-cancer drug Femara, whose sales rose 39% to $189 million, and Zelnorm, for irritable bowel syndrome, which advanced 28% to $145 million.