Merck & Co. (MRK), the second biggest drugmaker in the U.S., Friday posted mixed results for the third quarter. Profit during the quarter rose by 2 percent to $1.75 billion, or 56 cents per share, from $1.72 billion, or 55 cents per share in the year prior quarter. However, sales dipped to $11.49 billion in the latest quarter compared to $12.02 billion in 2011, a 4 percent decline. The healthcare giant attributed the lower sales to unfavorable foreign exchange rates; saying that sales would have been basically flat to the year prior quarter if not for the exchange ratio.
Non-GAAP net income climbed by $20 million to $2.93 billion, or 95 cents per share; topping Wall Street analysts’ calls for 92 cents per share. Sales missed analyst predictions of $11.57 billion for the quarter.
Sales were impacted by the company losing exclusivity in August on its popular asthma medicine Singular.
For the full year, Merck expects adjusted earnings of $3.78 to $3.82 a share, excluding specialty items. Earlier this year the company said it anticipated Non-GAAP earnings between $3.75 and $3.85. The outlook is in line with analyst average estimates of $3.81 a share.
Shares of Merck have been in a steady uptrend over the last 52 weeks and notched gains in excess of 37 percent with Thursday’s closing price of $46.30.
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