Merck Tumbles on Drug Worries

by Christopher Freeburn | February 1, 2013 11:46 am

prescription drugs 300x180 Merck Tumbles on Drug Worries[1]Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK[2]) slid almost 3% in Friday morning trading after the company said it will postpone efforts to get Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval[3] for a drug developed to combat osteoporosis.

Company officials said they would submit odanacatib for regulatory review in 2014. The drug has completed a major late-stage trial, but Merck will wait for data from a extension study of patients in the original trial before it seeks FDA approval to market the medication, Reuters noted.

Merck also announced fourth-quarter earnings of $1.4 billion. Adjusted EPS came in at 83 cents, topping the 81 cents Wall Street had expected. Sales fell 5% compared to last year, dropping to $11.74 billion for the quarter. However, that exceeded the $11.48 billion forecast by analysts.

Looking forward, Merck estimated 2013 adjusted earnings of between $3.60 and $3.70 a share, less than the $3.82 a share it realized in 2012. Wall Street is looking for a 2013 profit of $3.68 a share.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/prescription-drugs.jpg
  2. MRK: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MRK
  3. it will postpone efforts to get Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-merck-resultsbre9100jl-20130201,0,7771202.story

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