News Column

Generic competition hurts Merck yet firm reveals new drug tie-up

February 6, 2014


MERCK, the second largest US pharmaceuticals producer, revealed yesterday that competition from generic rivals saw its quarterly profits and sales miss expectations, yet by less than had been feared. The pharma giant earned $781m , (478m) or 26 cents per share, in the fourth quarter - down from $908m , or 30 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, Merck earned 88 cents per share. The average analyst forecast was 89 cents per share. Revenue fell four per cent to $11.32bn , while Wall Street was expecting $11.36bn . "Overall, I view this guidance as 'good enough,' given fairly widespread Street concerns about a 'mega-miss,'" ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum said. Separately yesterday, Merck revealed a tie-up with Pfizer, Amgen , and Incyte . Merck said it plans to test its closely followed immuno-oncology drug MK-3475 in combination with medicines being developed by the three companies. Shares closed flat at $53.53 .

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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