With little time left in the fourth quarter, Par Pharmaceutical (NYSE:PRX) has finally gotten around to releasing its third-quarter results. It has been playing catch-up for quite some time after needing to restate earnings from 2006, so it's nice to see that the company is finally back on schedule.

Revenue was up 22% to $213 million for the quarter. Excluding one-time events from both quarters, income was actually up 39% year over year.

As is almost always the case with generic-drug makers, the year-over-year revenue increase was mostly from new products launched since last year. In the third quarter, Par began to offer three additional strengths of its generic version of AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) TOPROL-XL, which, combined with the lower-strength dose it launched late last year, added $71.7 million to the top line. While that addition is impressive, the sales unfortunately come with lower margins because it's an authorized generic product and it has to pay AstraZeneca for the rights to produce it. Par is also still benefiting from introducing a generic form of Wyeth's (NYSE:WYE) Inderal LA in the first quarter, which contributed $12.1 million to the third quarter's revenue.

Though they're a minor part of its arsenal, Par's branded products continue to be on fire, with sales growing 73% over the third quarter last year, partially driven by the addition of co-promotion fees for the testosterone replacement AndroGel. Has the company continued to make wise choices about products with growth potential that it licensed? This quarter it spent about $16 million to license two drugs now in phase 3 trials, for which it hopes to file marketing applications by the end of 2008. Par tightened its full-year earnings estimate to the top $0.05 of its previous estimate of $1.35 to $1.50 per share.

Now that the company is up to date with the Securities and Exchange Commission, investors have a better idea where the generic-drug maker sits. While Par is going to continue to have a hard time competing in an industry where much larger competitors such as Teva Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA) and Mylan (NYSE:MYL) can use volume to their advantage, it certainly looks like Par will have a nice 2007, and I like its strategy of branching out into niche branded markets.

More generic Foolishness:

As Foolanthropy enters its second decade, join us in working to bring financial education to the world's youth. Learn more about Foolanthropy's new direction.

To find out which pharmaceutical companies we believe in, take a look at all our recommendations in the Rule Breakers newsletter service with a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.