Merck stock ticks up after profit more than triples to beat expectations

Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. edged up 0.1% in premarket trading Thursday, after the drug maker reported second-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, and raised its full-year sales outlook slightly. Net income more than tripled, to $3.94 billion, or $1.55 a share, from $1.21 billion, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share of $1.87 beat the FactSet consensus of $1.70. Sales grew 28.0% to $14.59 billion, well above the FactSet consensus of $13.87 billion, as pharmaceutical sales rose 28% to $12.76 billion and animal health sales were little changed at $1.47 billion. Sales of Merck’s largest drug Keytruda increased 26% to $5.25 billion to beat expectations of $5.03 billion. For 2022, the company narrowed its adjusted EPS guidance range to $7.25 to $7.35 from $7.24 to $7.36, but raised its sales guidance to $57.5 billion to $58.5 billion from $56.9 billion to $58.1 billion. The stock has gained 3.0% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 5.1%.

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