Merck & Co.
reported Friday a second-quarter net profit that rose to $1.95 billion, or 71 cents a share, from $1.21 billion, or 43 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the drug giant said adjusted earnings per share came to $1.01, beating the FactSet consensus of 87 cents. Revenue rose 1% to $9.93 billion from $9.84 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $9.75 billion. Among Merck’s top selling drugs, Januvia/Janumet revenue fell 8% to $1.51 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $1.62 billion, while Keytruda revenue nearly tripled to $881 million, beating expectations of $787.5 million. For 2017, Merck affirmed its adjusted EPS outlook of $3.76 to $3.88, but revised its revenue guidance higher to $39.4 billion to $40.4 billion from $39.1 billion to $40.3 billion. “We continued to deliver strong results in the second quarter, driven by robust momentum for KEYTRUDA and good progress with other products in our portfolio,” said Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier. The stock was indicated up about 1% in premarket trade. It has climbed 8.2% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF
has run up 15.4% and the S&P 500
has gained 10.6%.