ICN Pharmaceuticals


said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to exceed consensus analyst expectations, due primarily to the successful launch of the company's new hepatitis C treatment.

Analysts had been expecting earnings of 29 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

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The pharmaceutical company also said it expects to beat the consensus analyst estimate of $1.72 a share for the 2002 fiscal year.

Shares of ICN closed at $32.96 Wednesday on the

New York Stock Exchange

before the announcement.