Healthcare Business

Schering-Plough Relief on Partner Earnings (SGP)

Schering-Plough Corp. (NYSE: SGP) is probably breathing a sigh of relief this morning after Merck’s earnings as it is partners with the drug giant on Vytorin and Zetia for cholesterol treatments.

The combined Vytorin & Zetia franchise was noted as having some $5.2 Billion in 2007 annual sales, with some $1.5 Billion being reported in the fourth quarter alone.

Merck did disclose some 50 lawsuits over these sales and noted that it is complying and cooperating with investigations.  But the good news is that the company’s guidance wasn’t sharply changed.

Schering-Plough has a large portion of its profits that come directly as a result of its Merck partnership.  It is still too early to get a solid read on Schering-Plough shares and obviously the situation can change based on Merck comments in their earnings conference call. 

So far shares are indicated up marginally for Schering-Plough at $19.20 after a $19.11 close yesterday.  Its 52-week trading range is $17.45 to $33.81, and shares were north of $26.00 at the start of 2008.

Jon C. Ogg
January 30, 2008