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Merck Reports Disappointing Profits In Q1

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Merck & Co. Inc.  (MRK) reports disappointing Q1 profit figures, hurt by the low demand for drugs that need to be administered at a doctor’s office, as the pandemic fear continued.

The company informed that two-thirds of its treatments and vaccines need to be administered by a doctor, usage of which were hit by the pandemic-induced restrictions. Net earnings dropped about 1% to $3.18 billion, or $1.25 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. The company earned $1.40 per share, lower than the analyst’s estimate of $1.63.

Sales of Merck’s Gardasil, a vaccine to prevent cancers caused by the human papillomavirus virus, dropped 16.4% to $917 million in the first quarter, as demand was low in the United States and Europe. Sales of blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda rose 18.7% to $3.90 billion but performed below market estimates of $3.98 billion.

Full-year sales are now expected to take a hit of 3%, from 2% previously. Merck restated its 2021 adjusted earnings per share expectation of $6.48 to $6.68. The company did not include any benefit from a potential launch of molnupiravir, an antiviral drug for COVID-19 it is developing with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Merck & Co., Inc.  (MRK) is a global healthcare solutions provider that has been working towards bringing forward medicine and vaccines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases for more than a century. They are committed to increasing health care access and continue to be at the leading edge of research. Merck has the industry’s largest immuno-oncology clinical research program. To learn more about Merck (MRK) and to track its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners Merck Coverage Page.

If you liked this story please consider, visiting the Atossa Therapeutics (ATOS) dedicated page at Vista Partners to learn about the Seattle-based biotech firm’s work towards finding therapeutic treatments for Breast Cancer and the Coronavirus. 

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(Read Original Story: Merck sees bigger 2021 sales hit after first quarter feels pandemic pain in Reuters)


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