The company earned 62 cents a share, versus the consensus forecast of 60 cents a share.
Revenue, however, was a bit light, coming in at $11.97 billion, vs. the $12.01 analysts were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters.
The company said the weak dollar boosted earnings by 5 percent.
Pfizer also sounded an optimistic note about its drug pipeline, saying it had increased the number of experimental drugs in the final stage of government approval from 16 to 25 in the past 6 months.
Schering-Plough Profit Helped by Overseas Sales
Drug maker Schering-Plough reported a net profit ahead of market expectations Tuesday thanks to international sales at a time when the U.S. market remained difficult.
The company earned $551 million, or 34 cents a share, for the third quarter.
Excluding certain items the company earned 39 cents a share.
On average, analysts predicted a profit of 31 cents a share.
Net sales rose to $4.6 billion from $2.8 billion in the year-ago period.
3M Earnings Ahead of Estimates
3M posted third-quarter earnings ahead of analysts' estimates, despite what it called challenging economic conditions.
Third-quarter net income rose to $991 million, or $1.41 a share, from $960 million, or $1.34 a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company said it earned $1.42 a share, compared with earnings of $1.29 a share a year ago.
According to Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.38 a share.
Revenue rose 6.2 percent to $6.56 billion from $6.18 billion a year ago, with double-digit sales growth in each of its three largest businesses.
"Our diversified business portfolio served us well in the third quarter, as 3M employees once again delivered consistent results with 23 percent-plus operating margins in a highly challenging economic environment," said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and CEO, in a press release.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company said it expects earnings for the year to be within the range of $5.40 to $5.48 a share, or an increase of 8.4 percent to 10 percent from the year ago period.
3M said it plans to manage its business "prudently" for the remainder of the year as economic conditions are expected to remain "volatile."
>> Click here for the Roche pharmaceuticals division CEO's comments on the company's fall in sales and Genentech bid
DuPont Profit Beats Estimates
DuPont's profit, excluding a charge hurricane-related charged, beat estimates in the third quarter, when the company reported earnings of 56 a share versus expectations of 51 cents a share.
Including the charge, earnings were 40 cents a share in the third quarter.
The company provided fourth quarter 2008 earnings guidance of 20 to 25 cents per share, which reflects continuing hurricane-related business interruption impacts of about 10 cents per share, DuPont said in a statement Tuesday.
The company expects weakening demand in the North American and Western European markets.
Fifth Third Badly Misses Forecasts
Fifth Third Bancorp badly missed market forecasts, reporting a loss per share of 14 cents compared with a profit of 18 cents per share expected by analysts polled by ThomsonReuters.
The bank's net loss was $56 million and it was mainly driven by higher credit costs and market valuation adjustments, Fifth Third Bancorp said in a statement.
The bank considers taking part in the Treasury's plan of buying Tier 1 securities from banks.
"We are in the process of evaluating this opportunity and considering an application," the statement said.
U.S. Bancorp's Profit Disappoints
U.S. Bancorp's profit fell more than market expectations and the company said Tuesday that its performance may be further affected by market turbulence.