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Revenue Shortfall at Teva

Earnings top estimates for the third quarter.

Updated from 10:04 a.m. EST

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

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raised its full-year earnings forecast after posting third-quarter profits that charged past Wall Street's estimates.

Earnings for the year are now expected to be in a range of $2.25 to $2.35 a share instead of the previous estimate of $2.15 to $2.25.

However, Teva's stock fell as its third-quarter sales slipped below analysts' predictions. The world's largest generic-drug company also said full-year revenue would be short of the consensus expectation.

At the 4 p.m. EST close of trading, Teva lost 50 cents, or 1.5%, to $32.80. Volume was four times heavier than normal.

Teva earned $606.4 million, or 74 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call predicted a profit of 63 cents. Analysts were looking for sales of $2.33 billion, but Teva recorded $2.29 billion.

For the same period last year, Teva earned $267.1 million, or 40 cents a share, on revenue of $1.32 billion.

The big advance in sales was mainly attributable to Teva's acquisition of Ivax that was completed earlier this year. Teva's sales also were boosted by many big-selling brand-name drugs going off patent this year, such as the cholesterol drugs Zocor, from


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Calling 2006 an "extraordinary" year, Israel Makov, the president and CEO, said next year will be a "challenge" because there will be more generic competition for many of Teva's products.

Makov added that this year's sales will be "closer to $8.4 billion than $8.5 billion." The average analyst forecast of $8.48 billion was based in part on Teva's

prediction in August that full-year sales would be $8.5 billion.

Makov didn't make a prediction for next year, saying he would wait until February when Teva announces fourth-quarter results.

In addition to an influx of new generic drugs, Teva's third quarter was aided by $354 million in sales for Copaxone, a drug for multiple sclerosis. The U.S. market grew by 10% to $226 million. Sales elsewhere climbed 26% to $128 million.