Despite showing strong growth, IVAX (AMEX:IVX) shares are getting pounded after the drug maker posted third-quarter results that still came in below analyst expectations and reiterated full-year guidance that is also well short of expectations.

For the third quarter, IVAX reported net revenue growth of 22% to $439.1 million. And though net income more than doubled to $44.4 million, pushing earnings up 89% to $0.17 per share, that figure still came in short of the $0.21 per-share analyst estimate.

The company exhibited strong growth across the globe, with North American revenues climbing 24%, European revenues up 22%, and revenues in Latin America up 21%. However, revenues and profits suffered due to pricing pressure from competition after the company's exclusivity period on Metformin ER expired. Results were also hurt by the introduction of three competitors for Gabapentin, the generic version of Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) Neurontin.

Given that, IVAX simply reiterated its full-year forecast for earnings of $0.71 per share -- well short of the $0.81 per-share analyst estimate. And as a result, the stock is down 20% to $14.48.

On the upside, IVAX expects to receive approval for a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE:GSK) Flonase by the end of the year. The company also expects results of its patent challenge of Eli Lilly's (NYSE:LLY) antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa, by the end of the year, and its patent challenge trial on Lexapro, Forest Laboratories' (NYSE:FRX) antidepressant drug, will begin in May 2005.

In all, I think investors got both sides of the generic drug coin. On one hand, IVAX still generated the impressive growth that can be had in generics. But on the other, the pricing pressures from other generic competition highlight the attraction of having branded, defensible drugs.

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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.