Earnings up, earnings down for drugmakers

A plethora of drug-and-device results today, from falling profits at Boston Scientific and Schering-Plough to higher earnings and flat sales at Merck. Here's the roundup:

  • Merck posted net income of $1.77 billion, up from $1.68 billion year-over-year; per-share results were 82 cents compared with 77 cents a year ago. Discounting foreign-currency gains, sales were relatively flat, slipping by just 1 percent to 6.05 billion. The company suffered a 48 percent drop in Fosamax revenues because of generic competition, while Vytorin and Zetia sales fell 9 percent. Singulair revenues--expected to rise--stayed flat. But blood-pressure meds Hyzaar and Cozaar saw sales grow by 11 percent to $941 million.
  • Schering-Plough's earnings suffered on Organon acquisition costs, ending up at $398 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with $517 million, or 34 cents, last year. Excluding those items, EPS would have come to 45 cents, the company says. Sales jumped by 55 percent to $4.92 billion--with $1.4 billion of that increase coming from Organon, which it bought last November. A standout drug was Remicade, which saw sales leap by 41 percent to $557 million.
  • Boston Scientific's earnings fell 15 percent to $98 million on restructuring charges and declining stent sales. Drug-coated stent revenues plummeted by 30 percent in the U.S. as Medtronic launched its new drug-coated product; worldwide, they fell 13 percent to $382 milion. Total sales came to $2.02 billion.
  • Biogen Idec boosted its earnings to 70 cents per share for the quarter, compared with 54 cents a year ago, on revenues of $993 million. That's a 28 percent increase over last year's second-quarter sales. On an adjusted basis, EPS came to 91 cents, beating analysts' estimates of 84 cents.
  • Forest Laboratories posted EPS of 79 cents per share, down from 83 cents a year ago; the numbers suffered from a charge related to Forest's parting ways with Daiichi Sankyo on Azor marketing. Revenues grew by 4.2 percent to $967 million. Sales of its antidepressant, Lexapro, grew by 6.1 percent to $894 million, while Alzheimer's drug Namenda pulled in $219 million, up 14 percent.

- see Merck's earnings at MarketWatch
- get Boston Scientific's news from the Wall Street Journal
- check out Biogen's numbers at MarketWatch
- read Schering's results, also at MarketWatch
- find Forest's earnings release

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