Merck (NYSE:MRK) shares took a hit before hours today on first-quarter results that missed the consensus forecast.
The Kenilworth, N.J.-based company posted profits of $3.2 billion, or $1.25 per share, on sales of $12.1 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2021, for a -1.2% bottom-line slide on revenues that remained almost identical year-over-year.
Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were $1.40, 23¢ behind Wall Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $12.7 billion.
“While our results this quarter were impacted by the pandemic, the underlying demand for our innovative products remains strong and we remain confident in our future growth prospects,” Merck chairman & CEO Kenneth C. Frazier said in a news release. “We are also taking the right steps to evolve Merck’s operating model to continue to create value for patients, shareholders and society.”
Merck said it expects to log full-year adjusted EPS of between $6.48 and $6.68, with sales projected to come in between $51.8 billion and $53.8 billion.
MRK shares were down -2% at $75.52 per share in pre-market trading.