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Novartis Q3 income lags estimates as Alcon, dollar hit results

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Novartis reported third-quarter core net income fell, missing analyst forecasts as the cancer portfolio acquired from GlaxoSmithKline and the Swiss company's newer products failed to offset continuing weakness at its eye-care business Alcon.

[ZURICH] Novartis reported third-quarter core net income fell, missing analyst forecasts as the cancer portfolio acquired from GlaxoSmithKline and the Swiss company's newer products failed to offset continuing weakness at its eye-care business Alcon.

The stronger dollar also hurt results.

Core net income fell 2 per cent to US$3.06 billion, the world's biggest seller of prescription drugs reported, compared to the average analyst estimate of US$3.128 billion in a Reuters poll. It rose 13 per cent at constant currencies.

Sales fell 6 per cent to US$12.265 billion, compared to the poll average of US$12.62 billion. They rose 6 per cent at constant currencies.

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Novartis still expects annual sales to grow at a mid-single-digit percentage rate, with core operating income growing at high single digits, stripping out currency effects, it said on Tuesday.

Reported net income fell 42 per cent to US$1.8 billion, mainly due to a prior-year gain from the sale of Idenix Pharmaceuticals shares to Merck & Co and a provision of around US$400 million for a legal settlement in a US specialty pharmacies case.

REUTERS

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