CHICAGO - Baxter International Inc's quarterly earnings rose 12 percent on lower expenses and better margins, but sales were flat with a year earlier, the hospital products maker said on Thursday.

The company, which also makes blood therapy products and renal therapy, also said it raised its outlook for the full year. For the current fourth quarter, it now expects earnings per share of $1.02 to $1.04, with sales up 8 percent to 10 percent.

Baxter said third-quarter earnings rose to $530 million, or 87 cents per share, from $472 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time charges, profit was 98 cents a share. Analysts on average expected 97 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earnings per share benefited from the company's continued share repurchase program.

Sales were $3.1 billion, unchanged from a year earlier, but would have been up 7 percent without the negative impact of foreign exchange.

Among segments, renal sales fell 3 percent, while medication delivery sales rose 1 percent. Sales in the bioscience unit, which includes vaccines and blood therapy products, rose 2 percent.

Shares of Baxter closed on Wednesday at $57.00. Their price has ranged from $45.46 to $63.46 in the past 52 weeks. (Reporting by Debra Sherman; Editing by Derek Caney and Lisa Von Ahn)