Merck (MRK) is expected to report Q2 earnings Tuesday, July 21, before market open, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET.
Analysts are looking for EPS of 77c on revenue of $5.84B. The consensus range is 75c-79c for EPS, and $5.70B-$5.98B for revenue, according to First Call. On April 21, Merck reaffirmed its FY09 EPS guidance of $3.15-$3.30 versus a consensus of $3.25.
Possible positive drivers for Merck this quarter might be seen in its Singulair and Januvia sales. Weighing on this quarters earnings will be the loss of patent protection on Fosamex and slower Gardasil sales. Sales of cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia, co-marketed by Schering-Plough (SGP), might also be disappointing especially in a weak economy with cheaper alternatives.
In late June, UBS mentioned Merck cautiously, citing May as another weak month for Merck’s U.S. vaccines franchise.
On July 9, Natixis downgraded Merck to Hold from Buy.