Merck & Co. Earnings Preview

Merck (MRK) is expected to report Q2 earnings Tuesday, July 21, before market open, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. merckearnings

Guidance

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.

Analyst Views

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.

PG

Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.