Monday, July 23, 2007

Merck Profit Soars Despite Vioxx Litigation

Article on -- Merck soars on high profits, outlook: Profits grew 12 percent, helped by higher sales of new vaccines, medicines, by Reuters.  Here's an excerpt:

Merck & Co. said Monday that quarterly earnings rose 12 percent on strong demand for its newer vaccines and medicines, and raised its 2007 profit forecast, sending its shares up nearly 8 percent.

Merck (up $3.97 to $52.99, Charts, Fortune 500) shares jumped 7.8 percent in heavy midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange after it revealed second-quarter net income rose to $1.68 billion, or 77 cents per share, from $1.5 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest results include the impact of setting aside another $210 million for legal fees associated with litigation involving the company's Vioxx arthritis drug. Merck is facing about 27,000 lawsuits filed by people who claim to have been harmed by the widely used pill, which was withdrawn in 2004 after being linked to heart attacks.


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