Forest Laboratories, which last month cut its outlook for the full-year 2005 as a result of generic competition to its top-selling antidepressant, Celexa (citalopram) [[02/11/04e]], says that it is expecting its third quarter performance to exceed current expectations by around 15% as a result of stronger drug sales.

Average estimates put the company’s third quarter earnings per share at $0.59, versus $0.60 in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. However, Forest says that this will be improved as revenues are expected to rise to $795 million, in spite of continued sliding sales of Celexa. Nevertheless, the company is evidently succeeding in its bid of moving patients onto the Celexa follow-up, Lexapro (escitalopram), which looks set to bring in some $427 million during the three months.

In addition, Forest says that preliminary sales of Namenda (memantine) for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease topped $100 million during the quarter, while branded and generic sales of the antiviral Flumadine (rimantadine) hit $30 million as the US government placed a one-time order in response to a shortage of flu vaccine [[06/10/04b]]. Other income includes $22 million from co-promotion earnings with Sankyo on the antihypertensive, Benicar (olmesartan).

Forest is planning to reveal its definitive third quarter result plans to issue its third quarter fiscal 2005 earnings on Tuesday, January 18, 2005.