Merck third-quarter profit beats estimate, but Januvia sales slump


Merck & Co Inc reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, helped by cost cutting, but sales of its Januvia diabetes treatment fell, raising more concerns about growth prospects for the company's biggest product.

The company said on Monday it earned $1.12 billion, or 38 cents per share, in the third quarter. That compared with $1.73 billion, or 56 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

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Excluding special items, Merck earned 92 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected 88 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)