Merck Beats Forecasts on Lower Earnings

by Christopher Freeburn | July 27, 2012 9:55 am

Merck (NYSE:MRK[1]) announced on Friday that its second-quarter profit[2] was $1.79 billion, down about 11% from $2.02 billion during the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter were $12.31 billion, edging up 1% from 2011. Adjusted EPS came in at $1.05. The results beat Wall Street, which had been looking for EPS of $1.01 on sales of $12.15 billion, CNBC noted.

The news sent Merck shares up more than 3% in early Friday morning trading.

The drugmaker reiterated previously issued earnings guidelines for the rest of the year, predicting profits of between $3.75 and $3.85 a share. In 2011, Merck generated full year earnings of $3.77 a share.

The patent for its asthma treatment Singulair — which recorded second-quarter sales of $1.43 billion — expires in August, opening the Merck to generic competition against its best-selling medication.

Company officials noted that a rising U.S. dollar was eroding international sales revenue. Subtracting the dollar’s recent rise, sales would have increased 5%.

In the last week, pharmaceutical makers Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT[3]) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN[4]) both reported lower second-quarter earnings[5] compared to last year that still topped analysts estimates[6].

  1. MRK:
  2. that its second-quarter profit: http://Merck%20announced%20on%20Friday%20that%20its%20second-quarter%20proft%20was%20%241.79%20billion,%20down%20about%2011%%20from%20%242.02%20billion%20during%20the%20same%20period%20last%20year.
  3. ABT:
  4. AZN:
  5. reported lower second-quarter earnings:
  6. topped analysts estimates:

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