Growing revenue for crucial new medicines for cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions, helped U.S. drugmakers post improved results in the third quarter and beat Wall Street expectations.

Growing revenue for crucial new medicines for cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions, helped U.S. drugmakers post improved results in the third quarter and beat Wall Street expectations.

Buoyed by the stronger results and their prospects, Pfizer, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb all raised their 2015 profit forecasts, and their share prices rose on a day the broader markets declined.

Switzerland's Novartis struggled, though, weighed down by lower sales in its Alcon eye care unit.

All four drugmakers were hurt by unfavorable exchange rates cutting the value of foreign sales by at least 7 percent.

Excluding that hit, sales were up somewhat mainly due to strong launches of new drugs that are significant medical advances. That, and planned launches of new drugs, bodes well for the companies' future.