Merck profit beats estimates on resilient Keytruda demand

Merck profit beats estimates on resilient Keytruda demand

Merck & Co Inc reported a 7.6per cent fall in second-quarter sales on Friday as a drop in visits to doctors' offices because of the COVID-19 pandemic hurt sales of several important drugs.

The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey
FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

REUTERS: Merck & Co Inc on Friday posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast on resilient demand for its blockbuster cancer therapy Keytruda during the COVID-19 pandemic, sending its shares up 3per cent.

Sales of Keytruda, Merck's key growth driver, rose nearly 29per cent to US$3.39 billion, beating the average estimate of US$3.13 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

However, Merck said sales of its vaccines and other treatments were hurt as patients avoided doctors' offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a US$1.6 billion hit to its second-quarter sales.

The company also forecast a US$1.95 billion hit to 2020 revenue from the pandemic.

Merck said it now expects full year adjusted profit of between US$5.63 to US$5.78 per share, compared with its prior forecast of between US$5.17 and US$5.37 per share.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to US$3 billion, or US$1.18 per share, in the quarter, from US$2.67 billion, or US$1.03 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Merck earned US$1.37 per share, beating estimates of US$1.04, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Source: Reuters

Bookmark