The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Merck Q3 profit drops 3%

Trenton (New Jersey), Oct. 19 (AP): Merck & Co. posted a 3 per cent decline in third-quarter profit, as sharply higher costs for materials and production, as well as more research and development spending, offset solidly higher sales.

The maker of the cholesterol drug Zocor and Pepcid for ulcers said yesterday that third-quarter net income totalled $ 1.88 billion, or 83 cents per share, down from $ 1.95 billion, or 84 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest results matched the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenues were up 8 per cent to $ 12.89 billion from $ 11.92 billion a year earlier.

The company said it expects earnings per share this year to be $ 3.14 a share, the same level as last year, and anticipates double-digit EPS growth in its core pharmaceutical business next year.

For the first nine months of the year, net income also dipped three per cent, to $ 5.26 billion, or $ 2.31 per share, from $ 5.42 billion, or $ 2.33 a share, in 2001. Revenue rose nearly 8 per cent, to $ 37.8 billion from $ 35.2 billion.

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