Merck & Co reported mixed third-quarter results, with earnings beating Wall Street forecasts but sales slightly missing the mark amid stiff generic competition that began in August for the company's Singulair asthma medicine.

The No. 2 U.S. drugmaker said on Friday that it had earned $1.73 billion, or 56 cents per share, compared with $1.69 billion, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, Merck earned 95 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 92 cents.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $11.49 billion, below Wall Street expectations of $11.57 billion.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)