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Watson Sees Sales on Track

The drugmaker says third-quarter earnings are ahead of estimates.

Watson Pharmaceuticals


said third-quarter earnings per share exceeded Wall Street estimates, and the generic-drug maker provided full-year guidance that was in line with analysts' consensus view.

The Corona, Calif., company earned $39.6 million, or 36 cents a share, on revenue of $410.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had predicted a profit of 34 cents a share and revenue of $413.9 million.

For the same period last year, Watson earned $14.6 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenue of $408 million. The year-ago quarter was affected by several charges.

Watson said Wednesday it expects full-year EPS in the range of $1.38 to $1.41 and full-year sales to be around $1.64 billion. The prediction excludes the closing of a plant in Puerto Rico for which Watson may take a charge in the fourth quarter. Details will be provided later this year.

The Thomson First Call consensus forecast is looking for full-year earnings of $1.38 a share on sales of $1.64 billion.

Generic drugs represent three-fourths of Watson's revenue, and their sales rose 4% to $315.2 million vs. the same period last year. Brand-name drug revenue dropped 6% to $91.6 million.

Watson issued its financial report after markets had closed. In regular trading, the stock lost a penny to close at $34.74.