* Q3 EPS $0.70 ex-items; Street view $0.69
* Botox sales up 3 percent to $328 million
* Shares rise 2 percent (Adds analyst comment, new use for Botox rival Dysport)
By Ransdell Pierson
NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Allergan Inc (AGN.N) said quarterly profit rose 8 percent as sales of anti-wrinkle drug Botox rebounded and helped offset lower sales of medical devices.
Third-quarter earnings increased to $179 million, or 58 cents per share, from $165 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding special items, Allergan earned 70 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 69 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“All in all, signs of stability in a still-challenging environment is the takeaway” message from the earnings report, Oppenheimer & Co analyst Amit Hazan said in a research report, referring to global economic conditions.
Allergan shares rose 2 percent, or $1.06, to $54.61 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company said global sales rose 4.2 percent to $1.13 billion in the quarter, topping analysts’ expectations of $1.08 billion.
Sales of Botox rose about 3 percent to $328 million following declines in previous quarters that the company blamed on waning use of cosmetic procedures during the economic downturn.
Botox gained ground despite competition since June from Ipsen SA’s (IPN.PA) anti-wrinkle product Dysport. Dysport is sold as a cosmetic treatment in the United States by Ipsen’s partner, Medicis Pharmaceutical MRX.N.
Ipsen has kept U.S. rights to market Dysport for treating muscle spasms in the neck, and on Thursday it launched its drug for that use. Botox is also approved to treat the spasms, known as cervical dystonia.
Revenue from Allergan’s array of prescription medicines for eye ailments, including glaucoma, rose almost 5 percent to $535 million.
But sales of medical devices fell almost 11 percent to $187 million as the weak economy crimped demand for breast implants, surgical products used to treat obesity, and fillers used to smooth facial wrinkles.
For full-year 2009, Allergan forecast earnings of $2.75 to $2.77 per share excluding special items, compared with an average Wall Street estimate of $2.75.
The company said it expects full-year sales of $4.35 billion to $4.4 billion. Wall Street has forecast $4.32 billion. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, editing by Maureen Bavdek and John Wallace)