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Merck First Quarter Profit Up 7% Despite Sales Decline

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 7:33am
The Associated Press

 
              In this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 photo, Merck scientist Pascale Nantermet conducts research to discover new HIV drugs in West Point, Pa. Merck reports quarterly earnings on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co.'s first-quarter profit rose 7 percent, as heavy cost-cutting offset lower sales due to generic competition and a tax benefit in last year's quarter.

The maker of the type 2 diabetes pill Januvia says net income was $1.71 billion, or 57 cents per share, up from $1.59 billion, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, net income would have been $2.6 billion, or 88 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting 79 cents per share.

Revenue totaled $10.26 billion. Analysts expected $10.44 billion.

Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., reaffirmed its 2014 forecast for profit of $2.15 to $2.47 per share.

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