Merck Boosts Outlook As Q3 Results Top Estimates

Biopharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) reported Thursday profit for the third quarter that declined 29 percent from last year, hurt by hefty increase in R&D expenses, despite 14 percent sales growth. However, both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly sales topped analysts’ estimates.

“Our third quarter results demonstrate exceptional revenue and underlying earnings growth and sustained performance across our key growth drivers,” said Robert Davis, President and CEO.

For the third quarter, net income attributable to the company decreased 29 percent to $3.24 billion or $1.28 per share from $4.57 billion or $1.80 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter was $1.85 per share, compared to $1.75 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.71 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Worldwide sales for the quarter increased 14 percent to $14.96 billion from $13.15 billion in the same quarter last year. The Street was looking for revenues of $14.08 billion for the quarter. Excluding the impact from foreign exchange, sales increased 18 percent.

Lagevrio sales were $436 million. Worldwide sales growth, excluding Lagevrio, was 10 percent. Growth excluding Lagevrio and foreign exchange impact was 14 percent. Sales growth was favorably impacted by COVID-19 recovery.

Pharmaceutical sales increased 13 percent to $12.96 billion, with KEYTRUDA sales growing 20 percent or 26 percent in constant currency, to $5.43 billion and GARDASIL / GARDASIL 9 increasing 15 percent or 20 percent in constant currency, to $2.29 billion, while JANUVIA / JANUMET sales declined 15 percent or 9 percent in constant currency, to $1.13 billion from last year.

Animal Health sales decreased 3 percent to $1.37 billion last year. Excluding the impact from foreign exchange, sales increased 4 percent.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2022, Merck now projects earnings in a range of $5.68 to $5.73 per share and adjusted earnings in a range of $7.32 to $7.37 per share on sales growth of 20 to 21 percent and revenues between $58.5 billion and $59.0 billion, including a negative impact from foreign exchange of approximately 4 percent.

Previously, the company expected earnings in the range of $5.89 to $5.99 per share and adjusted earnings in the range of $7.25 to $7.35 per share on sales growth of 18 to 20 percent and revenues between $57.5 billion and $58.5 billion

Analysts expect annual earnings of $7.34 per share on revenues of $58.51 billion for the year.

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