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Bayer AG earnings up 7.7% during 3Q

| Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 11:03 a.m.

Bayer AG's third-quarter earnings rose 7.7 percent on higher sales for a new blood thinner and eye treatment that are recharging its drug portfolio.

Operating profit rose to $2.7 billion from $2.5 billion a year earlier, the Leverkusen, Germany-based parent of Bayer Corp. in Robinson said on Thursday. That beat the $2.55 billion average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

New medicines, including the blood thinner Xarelto and the eye drug Eylea, have helped drive Bayer's profit upward even as earnings from its MaterialScience plastics division lag. Bayer is in talks with workers to cut costs at the unit, which makes chemicals for everything from makeup to car parts, CEO Marijn Dekkers told reporters in September.

“People do want to own this for the pharma growth,” said Fabian Wenner, an analyst for Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich. “Investors don't really care about 2013 anymore.” Wenner rates the stock a hold.

Third-quarter sales fell 0.2 percent to $13.1 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $13.3 billion.

Bayer Corp.'s operations in North America had $2.83 billion in sales, down 3.6 percent from a year ago. For the first nine months of the year, sales were $9.94 billion, up 1.4 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Bayer has 15,400 employees in North America, including 2,300 in the Pittsburgh region, the largest of 50 Bayer sites in the United States.

Bloomberg News and Trib Total Media staff writer John D. Oravecz contributed to this report. He can be reached at 412-320-7882 or joravecz@tribweb.com.

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