Merck Earnings Fall Short Despite Incredible Keytruda Sales

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Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The pharma giant said that it had $1.11 in earnings per share (EPS) and $10.54 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.03 in EPS on revenue of $10.55 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.07 and $10.54 billion in revenue.

Note that revenue was unfavorably affected this quarter by roughly $135 million from lost sales in certain markets related to a cyberattack.

In term of its segments, the firm reported as follows:

  • Januvia/Janumet revenues fell 2% to $1.53 billion.
  • Keytruda revenues increased 194% to $1.05 billion.
  • Gardasil/Gardasil 9 sales fell 22% to $675 million.
  • Proquad, M-M-M II and Varivax revenues increased 4% to $519 million.
  • Zepatier revenues increased 185% to $468 million.
  • Zetia/Vytorin sales fell 51% to $462 million.
  • Isentress/Isentress HD revenues fell 17% to $310 million.
  • Zostavax sales rose 23% to $234 million.
  • Pneumovax 23 sales rose 31% to $229 million.
  • Animal Health revenues rose 16% to $1.00 billion.

Merck narrowed and raised its guidance for the 2017 full year. The company now expects to see EPS in the range of $3.91 to $3.97 and revenues between $40.0 billion and $40.5 billion. The consensus estimates call for $3.87 in EPS and $40.32 billion in revenue.

Kenneth C. Frazier, board chair and chief executive of Merck, commented:

Our performance in the third quarter demonstrates the strength of our underlying business, with growth from key product launches, good global demand for vaccines, as well as strength from our Animal Health business. We will continue augmenting our pipeline through value-creating business development like our oncology collaboration with AstraZeneca to address unmet medical need and drive future growth.

Shares of Merck closed Thursday at $61.99, with a consensus analyst price target of $69.90 and a 52-week range of $58.29 to $66.80. Following the release, the stock was down 1.6% at $61.00 in early trading indications Friday.