Merck revenues miss mark as diabetes, arthritis drugs lag

Reuters

Merck & Co Inc's quarterly revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations as the stronger dollar cut sales of its consumer and animal health products and hurt results for prescription drugs, including diabetes treatment Januvia.

The second-biggest U.S. drugmaker said on Tuesday it earned $906 million, or 30 cents per share, in the second quarter. That compared with $1.79 billion, or 58 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

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Excluding special items, Merck earned 84 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected 83 cents per share.

Global company revenue fell 11 percent to $11.01 billion, hurt by generic competition for its Singulair asthma drug, which lost U.S. patent protection a year ago. Wall Street expected company revenue of $11.22 billion.

Revenue would have fallen 8 percent if not for the stronger dollar, which lowers the value of sales in overseas markets.

Sales of Januvia, which has been one of Merck's fastest-growing drugs, rose 1 percent to $1.07 billion, but would have risen 7 percent if not for the stronger U.S. greenback.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)