Merck's Q3 Revenues Dinged by Patent Expiry

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) this morning reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, but the loss of market exclusivity for its Singulair in the United States and the impact of foreign exchange took a toll on the company's sales.

The New Jersey-based drug maker posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.95 on revenues of $11.49 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.94 on revenues of $12.02 billion. The quarter's results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.93 and $11.57 billion in revenues.

The gross margin rose to 64.0% from 63.8% in the third quarter of last year.

"Our strong global sales this quarter offset the impact of the SINGULAIR patent expiry in the U.S.," said Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck's chairman and chief executive. "With our robust pipeline, we remain on target to submit multiple new products for marketing approval between now and the end of 2013, including suvorexant for insomnia, odanacatib for osteoporosis and TREDAPTIVE for multiple lipid parameters."

Merck now expects full-year 2012 EPS to fall in the range of $3.78 and $3.82 and for revenues to come in at or near 2011 levels, or $48.05 billion. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates call for EPS of $3.81 and $47.14 billion in revenues.

Shares are inactive in premarket trading but closed yesterday at $46.30. The 52-week range is $33.08 to $48.00. The mean price target before this report was $48.50 per share.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Drug companies, Earnings Tagged: MRK

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