Merck beats forecasts, as newer drugs offset generics

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[July 29, 2014] (Reuters) - Merck & Co reported better-than-expected quarterly results, with sales of newer drugs mostly offsetting declining sales of drugs facing generic competition.

The No. 2 U.S. drugmaker on Tuesday said it earned $2.03 billion, or 68 cents per share, in the second quarter. That compared with $906 million, or 30 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when Merck took charges for acquisitions and restructuring.

Excluding special items, Merck earned 85 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting 81 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson)

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