Schering-Plough ( SGP) reported a 23% drop in its third-quarter profit Tuesday, but the drugmaker's results still surpassed expectations on the top and bottom lines. Third-quarter sales benefited from the inclusion of products from Organon BioSciences, which Schering-Plough acquired in 2007, in addition to the favorable impact of foreign exchange. However, concerns that surfaced earlier this year contributed to a 15% year-over-year decline in sales from a cholesterol-drugs joint venture with Merck ( MRK). The venture manages Vytorin and Zetia. Overall, Schering-Plough earned $551 million, or 34 cents a share, in the quarter, down from a year-ago profit of $713 million, or 45 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents a share on revenue that increased 63% to $4.58 billion. Analysts were looking for 31 cents a share on revenue of $4.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Shares of the pharmaceutical company were up 25 cents, or 1.7%, at $14.75 in recent trading. This week is a busy one for earnings from the pharmaceutical sector. Pfizer ( PFE) posted its results earlier in the day and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) are due on Wednesday, and Eli Lilly ( LLY) is scheduled to release its numbers Thursday.