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.
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