Wyeth

(WYE)

said Wednesday that strong sales among several major products helped it produce third-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates and topped its performance from the same period last year.

Excluding special charges and gains, Wyeth earned $1.01 billion, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $4.5 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30. For the third quarter, the consensus view of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was a profit of $938 million, or 70 cents a share, on revenue of $4.43 billion.

When special items are included, Wyeth reported net income of $1.42 billion, or $1.06 a share, on revenue of $4.5 billion. For the same period last year, Wyeth lost $426.4 million, or 32 cents a share, on $4.08 billion.

The 2004 third quarter was affected in part by a favorable income tax adjustment of $407.6 million, or 30 cents a share, relating to "settlement of audit issues," the company said. The 2003 third quarter was adversely affected by a $2 billion pre-tax charge ($1.3 billion after tax, or 96 cents a share) related to litigation involving the company's diet drugs Redux and Pondimin.

"Our business showed strong performance on many fronts during the course of this past quarter," said Robert Essner, the company's chairman and chief executive. Five drugs, for example, had a combined sales growth of 39% from the year-ago quarter. "Just as important, our key R&D projects ... continue on track and we expect to meet our goals for the year," Essner said.

Wyeth was led by Effexor, an antidepressant, which produced $893 million in sales for the quarter, up 38% from the same period last year. Prevnar, a vaccine to prevent pneumococcal disease in infants and young children, scored a 32% revenue gain for the quarter, reaching $321 million. Rapamune, a drug for patients who have received kidney transplants, jumped 76% to $68 million in sales for the third quarter.