Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) feels comfortable with the analyst forecasts for Q4 of $550 million sales and earnings per share of 61 cents.

CFO Dan Suesskind today told that the negative sentiment in Teva shares has to do with investors overreacting to lower than expected revenue in the third quarter.

These figures involve 6% growth compared with the fourth quarter last year, when Teva posted record sales of $518.5 million, but failed to keep this up in the following three quarters.

While Teva released its calming message shares dropped 1.8% on high turnover on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, completing an aggregate drop of 20% since mid-October, when the stock was recovering and gained over 40% on Nasdaq.

Suesskind said that Teva has not been experiencing greater difficulties in its activities relating to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which in the fourth quarter approved Calcitriol, used to treat secondary hyperparathryoidism. The approval for Teva's generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Glucophage for treating diabetes has been delayed after the British proprietary drug manufacturer intervened. As a result, the expiration of the patent was put off, and now the matter is being deliberated in Congress.

Ilanot Batucha analyst Sophie Galper said that the investment house is keeping its Buy rating and $72 price target, which is 29% higher than the share¿s Nasdaq price.

She said that in the third quarter of 2000 Teva benefited from several nice surprises, among them the sales of Copaxone, a treatment for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, of which several entities acquired huge inventories. Given this, some investors' expectations for double-digit growth in the third quarter weren't realistic, she said.

Ilanot Batucha estimates that Teva, the leading generic drug company in the United States, will in the fourth quarter grow by 8% to $555 million, and that earnings per share will come to 60 cents.

Teva's Nasdaq market cap is $8 billion.