Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. rallied 2% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the drug giant reported first-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, and lifted its full-year outlook. Net income increased to $1.55 billion, or 56 cents a share, from $1.13 billion, or 40 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 88 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 83 cents. Revenue rose 1% to $9.43 billion from $9.31 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $9.25 billion, as better-than-expected Januvia/Janumet and animal health sales helped offset a miss for Keytruda. For 2017, Merck raised its adjusted EPS outlook to $3.76 to $3.88 from $3.72 to $3.87 and its revenue outlook to $39.1 billion to $40.3 billion from $38.6 billion to $40.1 billion. The stock has rallied 6% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.8%.
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