Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said Thursday fourth-quarter net income rose 23% thanks to double-digit percentage sales growth in top-selling blood pressure and blood cancer drugs.
Novartis reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.66 billion, or 70 cents per share, from $1.35 billion, or 58 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.
The earnings were below the 78 cents per share forecast by analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Investors were not initially impressed by the performance, and the stock is trading down 0.7% in Switzerland this morning.
Quarterly net income does include one-time costs related to a recall of contact lenses. About 12 million contact lenses, less than 1% of the total manufactured, were recalled for quality reasons, Reuters reported. Excluding extraneous items, operating income for the quarter was $1.82 billion, up from $1.49 billion in the same quarter a year ago.