The Kenilworth, N.J.-based company posted profits of $1.55 billion, or 56¢ per share, on sales of $9.43 billion for the 3 months ended March 31, for bottom-line growth of 18.3% on sales growth of 1.3% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were 88¢, ahead of consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $9.3 billion.
“Merck delivered solid performance across our broad range of products that address major disease categories and the needs of global health,” chairman & CEO Kenneth Frazier said in prepared remarks. “The continued momentum of Keytruda in oncology, along with the strength of the vaccine and other franchises and animal health, helped to drive revenue growth in the quarter.”
Merck said it expects to post adjusted earnings in the range of $3.76 to $3.88 on sales of $39.1 billion to $40.3 billion, an increase from earlier figures, for the full year of 2017.
MRK shares were trading at $62.55 apiece today in mid-morning trading, up 0.3%.