Merck's revenue misses on lower drug sales, strong dollar

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[February 03, 2016]  (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc <MRK.N> reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by a drop in sales of its diabetes and arthritis drugs, and a strong dollar.

The company said sales of its diabetes drug, Januvia, fell 12 percent to $1.45 billion in the fourth quarter, while sales of its arthritis drug, Remicade, fell 29 percent to $396 million.

Merck's shares were down 2.2 percent at $49.28 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

The company forecast 2016 revenue of $38.7 billion-$40.2 billion, the top end of which was in line with the average analyst estimate.

The U.S. drugmaker's total revenue fell 2.5 percent to $10.22 billion. Analysts were estimating revenue of $10.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said a strong dollar had a 7 percent negative impact on its total revenue.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $976 million, or 35 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $7.32 billion, or $2.54 per share, from a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the company earned 93 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 91 cents per share.

(Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and Anil D'Silva)

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