ICN Sales Growth Keeps Drug Firm's Results on Track

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., citing strong sales in North America and Eastern Europe, reported third-quarter earnings in line with analysts' estimates.

The Costa Mesa drug company posted earnings of $16.9 million, or 53 cents a share, a penny a share higher than what analysts were generally estimating, a company spokesman said. ICN's sales totaled $137.5 million.

The spokesman said the company racked up especially strong growth in North American sales of its star drug Virazole, prescription bleaches, and treatments for hormone deficiencies. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia's improving economy helped boost Eastern European sales.

For the nine months, the company reported earnings of $47.8 million, or $1.60 a share on sales of $398.5 million.

ICN didn't release complete results for last year's third quarter and nine-month period, which predated the merger of four affiliated companies last fall to form ICN Pharmaceuticals. However, it said that sales increased 30% on a pro forma basis in the third quarter this year, pro forma sales were up 39% for the nine months.

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