Given all that's happened to Merck
The company only mustered a 1% year-over-year growth in sales, but that's to be expected given the 37% decrease in sales of blockbuster osteoporosis drug Fosamax after it lost patent protection earlier this year. Unlike Pfizer
After the Enhance data was released and Merck and Schering-Plough
Adding the small Schering gain onto the other joint ventures, like its vaccine partnership with Sanofi-Aventis
Merck thinks it should still be able to make its previous earnings-per-share guidance, although the company is shifting regarding where it expects to make the money from. The weak dollar should help boost international sales a little, while the company lowered expected sales to AstraZeneca by $200 million and lowered its expected income from its partnerships by $700 million, thanks to the lower sales of cholesterol drugs.
Merck had a decent quarter and will most likely have an OK year. But the market's failure to be impressed with the company making its own guidance is likely because its initial forecasts tend to be conservative. The market isn't impressed with companies that just make their back-up plan.
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