Teleflex, Inc., a maker of medical and aerospace equipment, reported Tuesday that its third-quarter income plummeted 42 percent, after the company paid down some of its debt and invested in research and development.

The company's earnings fell to $22.2 million, or 55 cents per share, from income of $38.3 million, or 96 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Teleflex said its investments in research and development would make the company profitable in the future. Moreover, the company paid off some of its debt, lowering it to $837.8 million from $1 billion at the end of 2009, a one-time expense that digs into a company's income.

Net revenue rose to $443 million from $440.7 million at the same time last year.

The results fell short of Wall Street's expectations. Analysts, as polled by Thomson Reuters, had expected earnings per share of 97 cents. They had predicted net revenue of $449.8 million.

Teleflex said that revenue for Teleflex's medical division, which accounts for the bulk of its revenue, sputtered partly because of unfavorable currency fluctuations abroad. The company added that what would have been revenue increases in several of its medical units were offset by a voluntary recall of medical tubing in February.

While revenue for its medical products dropped 1.6 percent from the same period last year, its aerospace revenue rose 2 percent. Revenue for its commercial segment, the smallest of the company's three main divisions, jumped 15 percent.

And, despite a drop in income and revenue, the company raised its forecast for 2010 diluted earnings per share to between $4.00 and $4.15, excluding one-time items. Previously, it had predicted earnings per share of between $3.95 and $4.10. It estimated revenue of $1.8 billion for continuing operations, excluding any additional one-time expenses.

Teleflex shares fell 14 cents to close at $58.12