Merck sales grow globally

July 27, 2018 - 7:38 am

Soaring sales of most of its cancer drugs and vaccines boosted Merck & Co.'s second-quarter revenue by 5 percent, but restructuring and acquisition costs helped drag profits down 12 percent. However, revenue and net income both beat Wall Street expectations and the drugmaker raised its profit forecasts for the year a bit.

The maker of diabetes pill Januvia and Keytruda, an immune-oncology drug that works by boosting the immune system, posted net income of $1.71 billion, or 63 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for $1.15 billion in one-time costs, came to $1.06 per share, 3 cents better than expected, according to a survey of analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

The Kenilworth, New Jersey, drugmaker on Friday reported second-quarter revenue of $10.47 bill, topping analysts' projections for $10.32 billion, on average.

Revenue from prescription drug sales increased 6 percent, to $9.28 billion, led by Keytruda, Januvia and the Gardasil vaccine against cervical and other cancers caused by the human papilloma virus.

Sales of veterinary medicines for pets and livestock jumped 14 percent, to $1.08 billion.

Merck said it now expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.22 to $4.30 per share, up from its May forecast for 2018 earnings between $4.16 and $4.28 per share. Merck also tweaked its 2018 revenue forecast. It now expects $42 billion to $42.8 billion, a narrower range than its May forecast for between $41.8 billion and $43 billion.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.

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