Summary Box: Merck Q1 profit jumps on lower costs

AP News
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Posted: Apr 27, 2012 10:54 AM
Summary Box: Merck Q1 profit jumps on lower costs

PROFIT JUMP: Merck & Co.'s first-quarter profit rose 67 percent to $1.74 billion, due to lower spending and a $500 million payment a year ago to end arbitration over rights to two drugs.

MIXED SALES: Revenue grew 1 percent to $11.7 billion. Surging sales of five products were offset by generic competition to blood pressure drugs and slowing sales of top seller Singulair, which gets U.S. generic competition in August.

2012 FORECAST: Despite those issues, Merck expects revenue similar to last year's $48 billion, and predicts adjusted earnings per share of $3.75 to $3.85.