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reported a 23% drop in its third-quarter profit Tuesday, but the drugmaker's results still surpassed expectations on the top and bottom lines.

Third-quarter sales benefited from the inclusion of products from Organon BioSciences, which Schering-Plough acquired in 2007, in addition to the favorable impact of foreign exchange. However, concerns that surfaced earlier this year contributed to a 15% year-over-year decline in sales from a cholesterol-drugs joint venture with


(MRK) - Get Free Report

. The venture manages


and Zetia.

Overall, Schering-Plough earned $551 million, or 34 cents a share, in the quarter, down from a year-ago profit of $713 million, or 45 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents a share on revenue that increased 63% to $4.58 billion.

Analysts were looking for 31 cents a share on revenue of $4.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares of the pharmaceutical company were up 25 cents, or 1.7%, at $14.75 in recent trading.

This week is a busy one for earnings from the pharmaceutical sector.


(PFE) - Get Free Report

posted its results earlier in the day and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Merck and


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are due on Wednesday, and

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Free Report

is scheduled to release its numbers Thursday.