AstraZeneca said Thursday third-quarter earnings fell by more than a third as a slump in externalisation revenue, lower margins and increased costs weighed on performance. For the three months to 30 September, revenue fell 14% to $5.34bn and earnings per share fell 37% to $0.71 a share in the third quarter of the year. The fall in revenue was exacerbated by a decline in externalisation revenue, an income raising measure which includes money raised from selling assets or collaborating with other companies to develop drugs. Externalisation revenue fell 81% to $392m as AztraZeneca's collaboration with MSD on their Lynparza treatment weighed. Product sales increased by 8% in third quarter to $5.27bn driven by the performance of newer cancer drugs as oncology saw sales growth of 30% during the quarter. For the nine months to September 30, pre-tax profit fell 31% to $1.26bn from $1.820m a year earlier. AstraZeneca reiterated its outlook for core earnings per share of $3.30 to $3.50, and full-year product sales are expected to increase in low single-digit percentage, at constant currency rates.
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