US healthcare major Wyeth says that it expects third-quarter earnings per share, excluding special items, to hit the mid-to-upper 70-cent range, thereby beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72.

Wyeth chief operating officer, Ken Martin, also revealed during a telephone conference call that the company will take a third-quarter charge of $0.11-$0.16 for repatriation of earnings from foreign subsidiaries.

In addition, the group reaffirmed its full-year EPS guidance of $2.80-$2.90 and noted that, if current business trends continue, its performance could even overshoot the top end of this forecast.

Full-year EPS guidance had been raised to this range earlier in the year from a previous forecast of $2.70-$2.80, on high single-digit revenue growth, lower-than-expected growth in several expense items and favorable tax developments, according to the firm [[29/06/05a]].

However, Wyeth cautioned that fourth-quarter earnings may dip under those generated in the same period of 2004, as a planned heavy investment in R&D will weigh on overall performance for the period.

The company also said it is expecting that year-on-year earnings growth in 2006 will fall in the high single-digit range, compared to a rise of 10.5% predicted for this year, assuming an adjustment of around $0.17 per share on stock options accounting methods. Analysts polled by First Call have called for full-year 2006 earnings of $3.12 a share.