UPDATE 1-AbbVie beats forecast on surging Humira sales

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 8:24 AM ET

Oct 25 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter results, as booming sales of its Humira arthritis drug and Synthroid thyroid replacement drug more than offset lower sales of other medicines.

The drugmaker, split off at the beginning of the year from Abbott Laboratories Inc, on Friday said it had earned $964 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $1.59 billion, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the profit was 82 cents per share, 4 cents above the analysts' average estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 3.3 percent to $4.66 billion, above Wall Street expectations of $4.52 billion.

The suburban Chicago company raised the low end of its 2013 earnings forecast to $3.11 per share from $3.07 while keeping the high end at $3.13.