Novartis Q3 Profit Tops View, Sales Match; Backs FY21 View; Mulls Strategic Options For Sandoz

Swiss drug major Novartis (NVS) reported Tuesday that its third-quarter net income climbed 43 percent to $2.76 billion from last year's $1.93 billion. Earnings per share were $1.23, up 45 percent from $0.85 a year ago.

Core net income was $3.83 billion or $1.71 per share, compared to $3.47 billion or $1.52 per share last year.

On average, five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.65 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales were $13.03 billion, up 6 percent from prior year's $12.26 billion. Sales grew 5 percent at constant currency rates. Analysts estimated revenues of $13.03 billion for the quarter.

Volume contributed 9 percentage points to sales growth,

Looking ahead for fiscal 2021, the company continues to expect net sales to grow low to mid single digit , and core operating income to grow mid single digit, ahead of sales, both at constant currency rates.

Further, the company said it is commencing a strategic review of Sandoz to maximize shareholder value, options range from retaining the business to separation.

Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said, "Novartis delivered strong Innovative Medicines performance, driven by the continued momentum of Cosentyx and Entresto, allowing us to raise peak sales guidance for these products. ...We are also commencing a strategic review of Sandoz to maximize shareholder value. We remain confident in the strength of our pipeline and launch brands to fuel the growth of our company in the mid to longer term."

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