The drug is seen with the Merck logo projected on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on October 4, 2021.
Norphoto | Norphoto | Getty Images
merck It reported Thursday that first-quarter revenue fell 9 percent from the same period last year largely due to a sharp decline in sales of the antiviral Covid treatment molnopivir.
Sales of molnopiravir fell to $392 million during the period, down 88% from $3.2 billion reported in the first quarter of 2022. Merck said the decline is primarily a result of lower sales in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.
The company reported total revenue of $14.5 billion for the quarter, down nearly $1.5 billion from the same period last year. But excluding the Covid drug, Merck said its revenue grew 11%.
Here’s what Merck reported compared to Wall Street’s expectations, based on a survey of analysts conducted by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: $1.40 adjusted, compared to an expected $1.32
- he won: $14.49 billion, compared to an expected $13.78 billion
The pharmaceutical giant reported net income of $2.82 billion, or $1.11 per share. That compares to net income of $4.31 billion, or $1.70 per share, for the same period last year. Excluding certain items, Merck’s adjusted earnings per share were $1.40 for the period.
Rahway, based in New Jersey, now expects 2023 sales of $57.7 billion to $58.9 billion, slightly above the $57.2 to $58.7 billion guidance provided in early February. The raised guidance includes nearly $1 billion in sales of molnopiravir.
The company also raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to $6.88 to $7.00 per share, from a previous forecast of $6.80 to $6.95 per share.
The company noted that the outlook does not reflect any financial impact from Merck’s proposed acquisition of biotech company Prometheus Biosciences earlier this month. Merck said the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023.
Merck’s treatment molnupiravir first hit the market after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the pill for some adults in December 2021. Once hailed as a game-changing treatment for Covid-19, Merck signed several contracts to supply millions of courses of the drug to the US government. and other countries.
But Merck and pharmaceutical companies like PfizerAnd accident And Johnson & Johnson He was bracing for a decline in Covid-related sales this year as the world emerges from the pandemic and relies less on blockbuster vaccines and treatments.
Molnupiravir impacted sales of Merck’s Pharmaceuticals, which fell 10% to $12.7 billion compared to the first quarter of 2022. Excluding molnupiravir, drug sales grew 14%.
Merck said diabetes treatments also led to lower sales. Sales of sitagliptin and a related diabetes treatment decreased 29% to $880 million during the quarter, primarily due to general competition in several international markets and lower demand and pricing in the United States.
But Merck’s drug unit saw sales of its flagship antibody treatment Keytruda soar, which increased 20% to $5.8 billion during the quarter. Keytruda is used against several types of cancer, including certain types of breast cancer and skin cancer.
Gardasil, Merck’s vaccine that prevents cancer from HPV, also grew 35% to $2 billion. The company said the growth reflected strong demand outside the United States, particularly in China.
Merck will hold an earnings conference call at 9:00 AM ET.