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Generic competition cuts Merck’s Q1 sales, profit
San Francisco Chronicle

Drugmaker Merck & Co. on Wednesday reported lower first-quarter results and cut its 2013 profit forecast by 15 cents a share. Merck tried to reassure investors by announcing a huge share buyback, up to $15 billion worth of its stock, but its share price dropped nearly 3 percent in premarket trading after its revenue missed expectations. Competition from generic versions of its drugs and unfavorable exchange rates — problems hurting most drugmakers these days — hurt Merck.

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