Merck-Schering deal beats profit forecast

Merck grew profits even more than expected from its merger with Schering-Plough, beating analyst estimates by 1 cent per share. The company's net income more than tripled to $6.49 billion, accounting for a $7.5 billion pre-tax gain and other items related to the Schering deal. Earnings without extraordinary items came in at 79 cents, over the analyst-expected value of 78 cents.

Meanwhile, revenues grew by a whopping 67 percent on the addition of Schering's products to the mix. What's more, analysts are expecting that expansion to deliver. "Merck's expanded base business, more diverse product portfolio and agile, increasingly lean cost structure, will support stable earnings growth over the next several years," Deutsche Bank analyst Barbara Ryan says in a research report (as quoted by Bloomberg).

Of course, some of that earnings growth will come from job cuts, which are already on their way. Bloomberg reports today that 15,000 jobs are being cut from the company's combined workforce, and another 2,500 vacant jobs will go away over the next two years.

Top-performing drugs included the diabetes remedies Januvia and Janumet, which together grew by 43 percent to $760 million. HIV drug Isentress saw its sales leap by 80 percent to $234 million. Some not-so-encouraging news on the HPV vaccine Gardasil, however: Sales of that shot dropped by 3 percent to $277 million.

- read the Bloomberg story

- get more from Reuters

ALSO: Merck tapped Bridgette Heller as EVP and President of consumer health care; she'll report directly to CEO Richard Clark and serve on the company's executive committee. Report

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