Merck weighed down by charges, but drug sales rebound

Jul 29, 2021, 4:03 AM | Updated: 7:54 am

Merck’s second-quarter profit dove 49%, mainly due to a big charge for an acquisition and a higher tax rate, even as sales of its vaccines and medicines used in hospitals rebounded from the effects of the pandemic. The company narrowly missed Wall Street’s profit expectations, and Merck shares fell slightly in early trading.

The maker of cancer blockbuster Keytruda said it believes patients and health care systems have now “largely adapted to the impacts of COVID-19” and the pandemic should only reduce its 2021 revenue by less than 3%.

The drug giant slimmed down a bit with a June 2 spinoff that combined its Organon women’s health unit with its businesses selling biosimilars, or near-copies of pricey biologic drugs, and off-patent former blockbusters like respiratory drugs Singulair and Nasonex.

Merck & Co. on Thursday reported net income of $1.55 billion, or 61 cents per share, down from $3 billion, or $1.19 per share, a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.31 per share, two cents below the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The Kenilworth, New Jersey, drugmaker posted revenue of $11.4 billion, up 22% from $9.4 billion in 2020’s second quarter.

The revenue increase was driven by higher sales of Keytruda, the Gardasil vaccine against cancer-causing human papilloma virus infections, surgery anesthetic Bridion and veterinary medicines.

Total prescription drug sales climbed 22% to $9.98 billion, while sales of drugs and vaccines for pets and livestock jumped 34% to $1.47 billion.

Merck expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.47 to $5.57 per share, with revenue in the range of $46.4 billion to $47.4 billion. Both forecasts are well down from its prior estimates because of the revenue lost from the spinoff.

Merck shares fell $1.21, or 1.5%, to $77.12 in early trading.

___

This story has been corrected to show analysts expected earnings per share of $1.33, not $1.30, and that Merck missed that expectation.

___

Follow Linda A. Johnson on Twitter: @LindaJ_on Pharma

_____

A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MRK at https://www.zacks.com/ap/MRK

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Moose back on the loose after rescuers free it from fence

BARKHAMSTED, Conn. (AP) — A moose is back on the loose in Connecticut after some quick-acting rescuers helped to free it from a fence. The Connecticut State Environmental Police received a call at around midnight about a moose stuck in Barkhamsted, northwest of Hartford. Local fire department personnel and state police responded early Saturday to […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Migrant-death suspect ran detention center accused of abuse

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — One of two Texas brothers who authorities say opened fire on a group of migrants getting water near the U.S.-Mexico border, killing one and injuring another, was warden at a detention facility with a history of abuse allegations. The shooting happened Tuesday in rural Hudspeth County about 90 miles (145 kilometers) […]
15 hours ago
FILE - People visit a makeshift memorial honoring the victims of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in...
Associated Press

Vegas survivors signal hope even as mass shootings persist

LAS VEGAS (AP) — It’s been five years since carnage and death sent his family running into the night, leaving them separated and terrified as a gunman rained bullets into an outdoor country music festival crowd on the Las Vegas Strip. The memories don’t fade, they sharpen, William “Bill” Henning said as he prepared for […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Man shot several times at California youth football game

ONTARIO, Calif. (AP) — A man was shot several times on the field at a youth football game Saturday morning in Southern California, police said. Ontario police said the man was targeted and shot multiple times by suspects who fled. No one else was injured at the game at Colony High School, and there was […]
15 hours ago
In this image from video broadcast by RTB state television, coup spokesman Capt. Kiswendsida Farouk...
Associated Press

Protesters attack French Embassy in Burkina Faso after coup

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Angry protesters attacked the French Embassy in Burkina Faso’s capital Saturday after supporters of the West African nation’s new coup leader accused France of harboring the ousted interim president, a charge French authorities vehemently denied. A group of soldiers appearing on state television late Friday had announced that Lt. Col. […]
15 hours ago
From left, A.J. McCullough of Sunset Beach, NC, mother of bride Monroe McCullough, an unidentified ...
Associated Press

Despite Ian’s punch, wedding day saved on wet Pawleys Island

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Saturday turned out to be a sparklingly beautiful fall day in Pawleys Island, an idyllic wedding venue sandwiched between the Atlantic oceanfront and expansive marshland that typify South Carolina’s coastal beauty. For two visiting families, the perfect wedding almost got derailed by Hurricane Ian’s landfall and aftermath. Mary Lord and […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Merck weighed down by charges, but drug sales rebound