Novartis Q4 earnings miss expectations

Novartis's (NVS) Q4 adjusted EPS dropped 3% to $1.20 and missed consensus by $0.08, affected by currency fluctuations.

Net income increased to $2.06B from $2.02B and also fell short of forecasts of $2.4B.

Sales rose 2% to $15.08B and almost met expectations of $15.09B, with revenue lifted by recently-launched products and strong sales in China and Russia.

Novartis projected that 2014 sales will grow by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage in constant currencies, assuming that a competitor to the company's blockbuster blood-pressure drug Diovan is launched at the start of Q2.

Novartis also predicted that core operating income will rise more than sales

Sales breakdown: pharmaceutical division +1% to $8.3B; Alcon eye-care unit +3% to $2.7B

Proposes dividend of 2.45 Swiss francs ($2.72) per share for 2014, up 7%. (PR)

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