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UPDATE: Merck Posts Upbeat Q1 Profit

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Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) reported a 7% rise in its first-quarter profit.

Merck's quarterly profit surged to $1.71 billion, or $0.57 per share, compared to a year-ago profit of $1.59 billion, or $0.52 per share. Excluding certain items, Merck earned $0.88 per share, up from $0.85 per share

Its revenue dropped 4% to $10.26 billion versus $10.67 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.79 per share on revenue of $10.43 billion.

Merck's sales of its pharmaceuticals slipped 5% to $8.5 billion in the quarter. The company's worldwide combined sales of JANUVIA and JANUMET climbed 3% to $1.3 billion, while combined sales of ZETIA (ezetimibe) and VYTORIN (ezetimibe/simvastatin) slipped 5% to $972 million in the quarter.

Merck reiterated its full-year earnings forecast of $2.15 to $2.47 per share.

The company's press release offered the following comment from Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck:

“Investing in the best opportunities for growth while being disciplined in managing our costs enabled us to deliver bottom-line performance.” Frazier added, “This is an exciting time as we prepare to commercialize the next wave of innovation coming out of Merck's research labs over the next few years.”

Merck shares gained 1.50% to $57.53 in pre-market trading.

Posted-In: profitEarnings News Guidance


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