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Baxter 3Q earnings meet Wall Street estimates

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Drug and medical device maker Baxter International reported third-quarter results Thursday that edged 1 percent higher as the company trimmed expenses, meeting Wall Street expectations.

The company's net sales were essentially flat for the quarter ended Sept. 30, at $3.48 billion. Baxter sells a broad mix of medically necessary products _ including blood plasma, cancer drugs, kidney dialysis treatments and hospital equipment.

The company's profit rose slightly to $583 million, or $1.06 per share, from $576 million, or $1.01 per share, in the prior-year period. The company's results were weighed down by a charge of $45 million, or 8 cents per share, associated with the company's licensing agreement with Onconova Therapeutics Inc.

Excluding that and other one-time charges, Baxter would have earned $1.14 per share, up from $1.09 per share in the prior-year period. That was even with expectations from analysts polled by FactSet, who were looking for revenue of $3.52 billion.

Results were helped by a reduction in marketing and administrative expenses, which were 6 percent lower at $743 million.

Sales of the company's plasma-based drugs were flat at $1.52 billion, though the company said sales would have risen 5 percent without the impact of foreign currency headwinds.

Baxter tightened its full-year adjusted earnings-per-share guidance to a range of $4.51 to $4.54 from between $4.50 and $4.56. Analysts expect $4.53 per share, on average.

In afternoon trading, shares of the company added 77 cents to $62.69.

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