Elan's ( ELN) third-quarter loss narrowed by 38% from a year ago, as a gain this year and a charge last year aided comparisons.

The drug company lost $67.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the most recent quarter, compared with $107.8 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter included a gain of $23.3 million from the sale of businesses while the 2004 quarter had a $55 million charge to cover shareholder suits and an SEC probe.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 22 cents in the most recent quarter. Revenue rose 23% from a year ago to $128.6 million, about $3 million better than expected.

The stock fell 14 cents to $8.26 early Thursday.

Elan had total product revenue for the third quarter of 2005 of $118.4 million, up 38% from a year ago on higher sales of its Maxipime and Azactam antibiotics and the addition of sales of its Prialt pain relievier.

Elan previously noted supply disruptions with regard to Maxipime that led to dwindling customer inventories. In its third-quarter release, the company said: "The supply situation improved during the third quarter and we expect to be able to meet demand and wholesaler inventory requirements during the fourth quarter of 2005."