Chattem

(CHTT)

said third-quarter earnings rose 48%, beating both the company's and analysts' expectations. The company cited strong sales of its Selsun Blue product and topical analgesic brands.

The company earned $6.4 million, or 65 cents a share, compared with $2.1 million, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Before taxes and interest, the company earned $16.7 million. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 51 cents a share.

Revenue was $67.2 million, which includes royalty income from Selsun Blue, acquired on March 28. Excluding revenue from Selsun Blue, sales were $60.1 million, a 21% increase over last year. Chattem acquired Selsun Blue from

Abbott Laboratories

(ABT) - Get Report

for $75 million and $1.4 million in inventories. Abbott is selling the product internally for Chattem during a transition period.

Looking ahead, the company expects fourth-quarter EPS of 38 cents to 40 cents, on revenue of $55 million to $57 million. The company expects full-year 2003 earnings to be 15% to 18% above 2002 earnings. Analysts have predicted the company will earn 39 cents a share in the fourth quarter, $1.83 a share for full-year 2002 and $2.14 a share for full-year 2003.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Chattem is a manufacturer of branded consumer products. Shares of the company closed at $41.26 Thursday on the

Nasdaq

.