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On Wednesday, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries posted lower third-quarter net profits that still managed to outdo profit estimates. Strong European sales helped offset a lack of launches in its U.S. generic drug business, the company said.

Sales rose 2% year over year to $4.34 billion. Third-quarter earnings excluding one-off items fell to $1.25 a share, from $1.30 a share in the same period last year, Teva said. Teva had been expected to earn $1.22 a share (excluding nonrecurring items ) ex-items on revenue of $4.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Company president and CEO Shlomo Yanai admitted the company's performance in the quarter had been mixed. "We had strong European and international generic sales, combined with strong results from our branded units. This helped to offset our U.S. generics business, which lacked any significant new launches," he said. Teva anticipates a strong fourth quarter, including better U.S. generics sales led by the exclusive launch of generic Zyprexa, Yanai said, referring to pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly's drug to treat schizophrenia.

Global sales of Copaxone - Teva's branded treatment for multiple sclerosis, which faces mounting competition - grew 26% against the corresponding quarter of 2010 to a record $1.02 billion.

Teva declared a dividend of NIS 0.80 per share.