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Update: Novartis posts 2% YOY rise in Q3 earnings, revises sales guidance

Novartis AG reported third-quarter core earnings of $1.32 a share, up 2%year over year.

That compares to the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of $1.29 for the quarter.

The company's third-quarter core net income was $3.06 billion, up 2% from $3.02 billion, in the same quarter of 2017. Core operating income rose 5% to $3.56 billion from $3.38 billion in year-ago period.

Net income dropped 22% year over year to $1.62 billion, or 70 cents per share, from $2.08 billion, or 89 cents per share. The company attributed this decline to a lower operating income and discontinued income from its consumer healthcare joint venture created with GlaxoSmithKline PLC in 2015.

Novartis sold its 36.5% stake in the joint venture to GlaxoSmithKline for $13 billion in June.

Operating income came in at $1.9 billion, down 18% year over year, mainly due to net charges from the voluntary recall of glaucoma surgical device CyPass in August.

Third-quarter net sales totaled $12.78 billion, up 3% year over from $12.41 billion in 2017.

Sales from the company's innovative medicines segment amounted to $8.60 billion, up 6% from $8.12 billion a year ago. Sandoz, the company's generics business, recorded net sales of $2.42 billion, down 6% from $2.58 billion in 2017.

Moreover, Alcon Inc. — Novartis' eye care unit which is being spun off as a stand-alone business dual-listed on the New York and Swiss stock exchanges — booked net sales of $1.76 billion, up 3% from $1.71 billion a year earlier.

Sales for Kymriah, the first approved CAR-T cell therapy to treat certain blood cancers in the U.S., came in at $20 million. The company, which reported a 13% growth rate in China for third-quarter 2018, entered a strategic collaboration with Cellular Biomedicine Group to manufacture and supply its gene therapy in the country.

In addition, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant is acquiring West Lafayette, Ind.-based developer of radio cancer treatments Endocyte Inc. for $24 per share, or a total equity value of $2.1 billion.

Concurrently, Novartis appointed Klaus Moosmayer as chief ethics, risk and compliance officer.

Meanwhile, Novartis revised its net sales guidance upwards, as it now expects group net sales to grow in the mid-single digit up from the previous guidance of low- to mid-single digit growth in 2018.

The Basel, Switzerland-based company makes innovative medicines, generics and biosimilars.