Giant pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough (SGP) , still fighting production problems, and fellow drugmaker Pharmacia Corp. (PHA) , which continues to digest Monsanto, both reported earnings today that met Street expectations.

The Kenilworth, N.J.-based Schering Plough, still hampered by well-publicized manufacturing problems, earned $634 million, or 43 cents per share, in the second quarter, matching last year's results. By bringing that number home, the drugmaker avoided the dubious honor of becoming the only major drug company to post negative earnings growth in the second quarter.

Pharmacia continues to make the most of its Monsanto merger; the drugmaker earned $844 million, or 63 cents per share in the second quarter, compared with $701 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Earnings growth was boosted by $216 million in second-quarter cost savings wrung out of Pharmacia's merger with Monsanto last year. The savings equated to earnings of 10 cents per share in the second quarter, matching expectations, the company said.

Pharmacia's second-quarter total sales rose 5% to $5.4 billion. Sales of the arthritis pain drug Celebrex grew 13% to $710 million, compared to last year. Camptosar, the company's chief cancer drug, posted sales of $180 million, a 62% increase over the second quarter last year. Sales of the glaucoma drug Xalatan rose 14% to $171 million.

TheStreet Recommends

The company reiterated previous projections of 20% earnings growth for the remainder of 2001, according to a statement from Pharmacia Chairman and CEO Fred Hassan.

Schering-Plough is the most

embattled of the U.S. drugmakers, primarily because of a

Food and Drug Administration

crackdown on its manufacturing and quality-control practices. The manufacturing problems already have held up approval for Clarinex, Schering-Plough's new allergy-fighting drug and successor to Claritin. Supplies of several other drugs also are being affected.

Schering-Plough said second-quarter sales totaled $2.6 billion, again, flat with last year's results. Sales of the allergy medicine Claritin grew 3% to $925 million during the second quarter, but sales of the Intron A family of drugs fell 13% to $315 million. Intron A drugs are used to treat diseases like Hepatitis C and cancer.