Healthcare giant Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK: Quote) reported Friday a profit for the second quarter that declined from last year, hurt by higher charges.
However, stripping down charges, profit grew and topped analysts' expectations due to strong sales of its diabetes treatments, Januvia and Janumet.
The company also maintained its earnings and revenue growth outlook for the full-year 2012.
"This quarter we delivered strong operational performance by focusing on growth and execution. We achieved top- and bottom-line growth by advancing our core strategy and maintaining momentum across our businesses," Chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier said in a statement.
The world's second-biggest drugmaker reported net income of $1.79 billion or $0.58 per share for the second quarter, lower than $2.02 billion or $0.65 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The results for both the quarters included significant acquisition and restructuring costs.
Excluding items, adjusted net income for the quarter increased to $3.23 billion or $1.05 per share from $2.95 billion or $0.95 per share in the year-ago quarter.
On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.01 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total sales for the quarter increased 1 percent to $12.31 billion from $12.15 billion in the same quarter last year, and topped eighteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $12.15 billion.
Merck pharmaceutical sales were $10.56 billion, an increase of 2 percent from last year. Sales primarily benefited from double-digit global growth for diabetes drugs Januvia (38 percent) and Janumet (28 percent).
Sales of Gardasil and Zostavax were also up sharply, while block-buster asthma drug Singulair, which will lose U.S. patent exclusivity in August 2012, increased global sales by 6 percent to $1.43 billion.
On the other hand, anti-inflamatory drug Remicade's sales dropped 38 percent to $518 million from a year ago. Cozaar and Hyzaar sales also declined 17 percent.
Emerging markets accounted for 18 percent of pharmaceutical sales in the quarter. China continued to be a key driver with 27 percent growth.
"The company remains focused on translating cutting-edge science into medically important products. We're seeing significant progress in the pipeline this year, and we expect six major filings over the next 18 months, including suvorexant for insomnia and odanacatib for osteoporosis," Frazier added.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2012, Merck continues to expect adjusted earnings in a range of $3.75 to $3.85 per share, on still projected revenues at or near 2011 levels on a constant currency basis.
Street is currently looking for full-year 2012 earnings of $3.82 per share on annual revenues of $47.21 billion.
MRK closed Thursday's regular trading session at $43.33, up $0.35 on a volume of 14.42 million shares. In the past 52-weeks, the stock has traded between $31.06 and $37.68.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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