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Merck Q1 Adj. Profit Declines

Merck (MRK) reported first quarter non-GAAP EPS of $1.40 compared to $1.51, prior year. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $1.63, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

First quarter net income to Merck & Co. was $3.18 billion, down 1% from prior year. GAAP EPS was $1.25 compared to $1.26.

First quarter sales were $12.08 billion compared to $12.06 billion, previous year. Analysts expected revenue of $12.66 billion, for the quarter. Excluding the impact from Foreign Exchange, sales declined 1%.

Pharmaceutical sales were $10.7 billion, in-line with last year. Pharmaceutical revenue reflects growth in oncology, largely driven by higher sales of KEYTRUDA, which rose 19% to $3.9 billion.

Research and development expenses were $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 12% from prior year.

Merck continues to expect sales growth of 8% to 12% in 2021 with revenue estimated to be between $51.8 billion and $53.8 billion. Merck now expects GAAP EPS to be between $5.05 and $5.25. Merck continues to expect non-GAAP EPS to be between $6.48 and $6.68, including a positive impact from foreign exchange of less than 3%.

"While our results this quarter were impacted by the pandemic, the underlying demand for our innovative products remains strong and we remain confident in our future growth prospects," said Kenneth Frazier, chairman and CEO, Merck.

Shares of Merck were down nearly 3% in pre-market trade on Thursday.

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