Merck & Co Inc. Earnings: Strong Margins Continue as Net Income Rises

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Merck & Co Inc. (NYSE:MRK) reported its results for the first quarter. Merck is a global research-driven company that develops and manufactures a range of innovative pharmaceutical products to improve human and animal health.

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Merck Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Merck & Co Inc. rose to $1.74 billion (56 cents per share) vs. $1.04 billion (34 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 66.6% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 1.3% to $11.73 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Merck & Co Inc. reported adjusted net income of 99 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 98 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $11.82 billion.

Quoting Management: “Merck’s first-quarter results again demonstrated our ability to execute on our strategic plans and grow the top and bottom lines,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck. “Our performance this quarter was driven by the solid contributions across our pharmaceutical, animal health and consumer care divisions and by our ongoing efforts to operate more effectively and efficiently.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has increased for four consecutive quarters. Revenue increased 1.7% to $12.29 billion in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year. The figure rose 8.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier and climbed 7.1% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now beaten analyst estimates for three quarters in a row. It beat the mark by 2 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and by 3 cents in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next-quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the second quarter has risen to $1.03 per share from $1.01. At $3.80 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $3.83 ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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