Merck shares lift after Q1 profit beat, sales miss
Merck & Co. Inc. reported a first-quarter profit beat and sales miss early Tuesday. Merck shares rose 1.1% in premarket trade. Earnings for the latest quarter declined to $736 million, or 27 cents per share, from $1.55 billion, or 56 cents per share in the year-earlier period. The latest results reflect a $1.4 billion charge related to a collaboration with Eisai Co. . Adjusted earnings-per-share were $1.05, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.00. Revenue rose to $10.04 billion from $9.43 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $10.09 billion. Keytruda, Januvia/Janumet, Gardasil, Zetia/Vytorin and animal health sales came in above the FactSet consensus. Sales were negatively affected by lower sales in virology, particularly for the hepatitis C medication Zepatier, because of more competition and lower patient volumes, and loss of market exclusivity for several products, Merck said. Merck also narrowed its 2018 revenue to between $41.8 billion and $43.0 billion, and lowered its 2018 EPS range to between $2.45 and $2.57, to reflect the Eisai collaboration charge. Merck also narrowed and raised its 2018 adjusted EPS range to $4.16 to $4.28. Company shares have declined 1.7% over the last three months, compared with a 6.2% drop in the S&P 500 and a 7.7% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .