Merck’s Gardasil Stock Down 11%

Daily Markets

Merck Beats, Guides In Line

May 4, 2010

Merck & Co.’s (MRK: 35.81 +0.54 +1.53%) earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter of 2010 came in at 83 cents (excluding charges totaling $2.3 billion), above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents and the year-ago results of 74 cents. However, including the adjustments, the company reported an EPS of 9 cents.

Merck reported revenues of $11.42 billion compared with $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009. However, these are not comparable since the company merged with Schering-Plough on November 3, 2009, boosting results in the current quarter. Revenues in the reported quarter were also favorably impacted by 4% due to foreign exchange movement.

Results by Product

Gardasil, Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine, recorded yet another quarter of lower sales. For the reported quarter, Gardasil’s sales came in at $233 million, down 11% year over year. Sales have struggled recently due to the difficulty in penetrating older patients. However, Merck’s ProQuad, MMR II and Varivax vaccines recorded a 27% growth in combined sales to $319 million.

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Difficulty in penetrating older patients – no pun intended there!  The real difficulty lies with the FDA who for the 2nd time refused to allow Merck to inoculate 26 to 46 year old women until more comprehensive studies are conducted.

Let’s call a spade and spade and say that the 11% loss is due to the fact that women are raising their voices and using the media to warn other parents as the vaccine is damaging more and more of their daughters.

Sometime in 2009 Merck was honored with an award for creating a “market out of thin air” (oh yeah…. google it.)  In response – a women’s movement of outrage was born – out of the same thin air.

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.