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Teva Gains on Earnings Surge

The Israeli-based drugmaker beats earnings expectations and also raises guidance.

Record quarterly sales for a proprietary multiple sclerosis drug plus a healthy generic drug business enabled

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

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to report third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. In addition, Teva raised its 2004 earnings and sales guidance for the year.

Israel-based Teva earned $251.5 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $1.25 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30 on a split-adjusted basis. Teva had a 2-for-1 stock split in June. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting a profit of $222.9 million, or 35 cents a share, on revenue of $1.19 billion.

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For the same period last year, the world's largest generic drug company earned $156.6 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $812.6 million, on a split-adjusted basis.

The company also said full-year sales should exceed $4.7 billion, up from its previous guidance of $4.5 billion. The Thomson First Call consensus had been $4.69 billion. Teva also raised its full-year EPS guidance to a range of $1.43 to $1.44, up from $1.35 to $1.37. The consensus had been $1.39 a share.

The guidance excludes new accounting rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board relating to certain convertible bonds. The rules will dilute fourth-quarter EPS by 1 cent and full-year EPS by 4 cents, the company said.

Teva said revenue was aided by sales of its brand-name multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone, which recorded sales of $242 million, a gain of 53% over the same period last year. "Our position in the global multiple sclerosis market has never been stronger," said Israel Markov, the company's CEO and president. "This has resulted not only in record profits, but also in record cash flow from operations."

In premarket trading, Teva's stock was up 86 cents, or 3.6%, to $2.