FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW's <BMWG.DE> third-quarter operating profit fell 27 percent to 1.75 billion euros on Wednesday, below analyst expectations, as higher research and development expenses weighed on earnings.
The company's earnings before interest and taxes were below 1.795 billion euros anticipated in a Reuters poll.
The carmaker said its return on sales for the automotive division fell to 4.4 percent from 8.6 compared with a year earlier, below its targeted range of between 8 and 10 percent.
Last month BMW warned its pretax profit would fall this year, against earlier expectations for a flat outcome, and cut its profit margin guidance for cars, blaming intense price competition.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Riham Alkousaa)