Forest Laboratories has kicked off the results season by posting strong earnings and revenues for its fiscal third-quarter ended December 31.

Net income was $20.7 million, up 52.5%, while revenues increased 6.7% to $1. 06 billion, Sales of Forest’s flagship product Lexapro (escitalopram), the antidepressant licensed from Denmark’s Lundbeck, contributed $586.5 million, a 0.7% increase year-on-year.

Perhaps most impressive were sales of Namenda (memantine), Forest’s N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist for the treatment of moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease. They reached $319.8 million, up 13.2%.

Forest’s new antihypertensive Bystolic (nebivolol) brought in just under $68.1 million, up from $47.5 million in the like, year-earlier period, while Savella (milnacipran), a selective serotonin and norepinephrine dual reuptake inhibitor, brought in $24.6 million, up 59.7%.

Chief executive Harold Solomon said the firm has been "realising full potential from our currently promoted products as well as progressing and expanding our product development pipeline". During the quarter, Forst received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for Teflaro (ceftaroline) for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections.

The company has high hopes for linaclotide, partnered with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic constipation. Filings for both indications are planned in the third quarter, while Forest and Almirall expect to file aclidinium for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in mid-2011.

Forest has upped its full-year earnings guidance to $4.20-$4.30 per share, up from its earlier forecast of $3.80-$3.90. This excludes charges taken in the first quarter related to a $313 million payment made to the US Department of Justice relating to illegal marketing of the older antidepressant Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro, plus an unapproved formulation of the thyroid treatment Levothroid (levothyroxine).