Medicine tablet is seen with Merck brand displayed on a display screen in the background in this illustration picture taken in Poland on October 4, 2021.
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Merck on Thursday reported first-quarter revenue that fell 9% from the identical interval a 12 months in the past largely because of a steep drop in sales of its Covid antiviral treatment molnupiravir.
Sales of molnupiravir plunged to $392 million in the course of the interval, down 88% from the $3.2 billion reported in the primary quarter of 2022. Merck mentioned the lower is primarily the consequence of decrease sales in the U.S., U.Ok., Japan and Australia.
The firm reported whole revenue of $14.5 billion in the course of the quarter, down almost $1.5 billion from the identical interval a 12 months in the past. But excluding the Covid drug, Merck mentioned its revenue grew 11%.
Here’s what Merck reported in contrast with Wall Street’s expectations, based mostly on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: $1.40 adjusted, vs. $1.32 anticipated
- Revenue: $14.49 billion, vs. $13.78 billion anticipated
The pharmaceutical large posted a web revenue of $2.82 billion, or $1.11 per share. That compares with a web revenue of $4.31 billion, or $1.70 per share, for a similar interval a 12 months in the past. Excluding sure objects, Merck’s adjusted earnings per share had been $1.40 for the interval.
The Rahway, New Jersey-based firm is now forecasting 2023 sales of $57.7 billion to $58.9 billion, barely increased than the $57.2 to $58.7 billion steerage offered in early February. The lifted steerage contains roughly $1 billion in sales of molnupiravir.
The firm additionally raised its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $6.88 to $7.00 per share, from a earlier forecast of $6.80 to $6.95 per share.
The forecast doesn’t mirror any monetary affect from Merck’s proposed acquisition of biotech firm Prometheus Biosciences earlier this month, the corporate famous. Merck mentioned that deal is predicted to shut in the third quarter of 2023.
Merck’s molnupiravir treatment first entered the market after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the tablet for sure adults in December 2021. Once hailed as a game-changing treatment for Covid-19, Merck signed several contracts to produce hundreds of thousands of programs of the drug to the U.S. authorities and different nations.
But Merck and drugmakers comparable to Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been bracing for a drop-off in Covid-related sales this 12 months because the world emerges from the pandemic and depends much less on blockbuster vaccines and coverings.
Molnupiravir weighed on sales for Merck’s pharmaceutical enterprise, which declined 10% to $12.7 billion in contrast with the primary quarter of 2022. Excluding molnupiravir, pharmaceutical sales grew 14%.
Merck mentioned diabetes therapies additionally drove the sales lower. Sales of sitagliptin and the same diabetes treatment fell 29% to $880 million in the course of the quarter, primarily because of generic competitors in a number of worldwide markets and decrease demand and pricing in the U.S.
But Merck’s pharmaceutical unit noticed increased sales of the blockbuster antibody treatment Keytruda, which elevated 20% to $5.8 billion in the course of the quarter. Keytruda is used towards a number of varieties of most cancers, together with sure varieties of breast most cancers and pores and skin most cancers.
Gardasil, Merck’s vaccine that stops most cancers from HPV, additionally grew 35% to $2 billion. The firm mentioned the expansion displays robust demand outdoors of the U.S., notably in China.
Merck will maintain an earnings convention name at 9:00 a.m. ET.