Novartis shares traded slightly lower this morning despite the company reporting a good set of third-quarter results.
The Swiss pharmaceuticals giant said it would likely not come to a decision about the future of its underperforming Alcon eyecare unit until 2019.
Novartis shares were trading around 1.3% lower this morning.
Despite reporting better-than-expected third-quarter sales and earnings, Novartis warned that sales from its Sandoz generics unit could fall slightly this year.
In common with rivals, Novartis cited pricing pressures on US generic drugs prices.
Overall, third-quarter earnings rose to $2.1bn versus $1.9bn for the same period of 2016. Sales increased to $12.4bn, up from $12.1bn last year.
Among the bright spots, sales of its prescription drugs Cosentyx and Entresto grew by 83% and 138% respectively.
Novartis has long acknowledged that the turnaround of the Alcon eyecare business, which it acquired from Nestlé in 2010 as part of a $50bn deal, has taken longer than expected.
Having taken a strategic review of the business, Novartis said it still needed to wait longer to allow for the unit´s performance to improve, at which point it may opt for a spin-off.