Merck profit beats forecast on impressive sales



The No. 2 U.S. drugmaker said on Friday it earned $1.69 billion, or 55 cents per share, in the third quarter. That compared with $342 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago period, when the company took several big charges.

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Excluding special items, Merck earned 94 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 91 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Global revenue rose 8 percent to $12.02 billion, topping Wall Street expectations of $11.61 billion.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Derek Caney)

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