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Merck Q1 profit up 7% despite sales decline
Modern Healthcare

Major cost cuts enabled drugmaker Merck & Co. to offset continuing generic competition cutting sales of former blockbuster medicines. Merck’s first-quarter profit rose 7% and trounced Wall Street expectations.

The maker of the type 2 diabetes pill Januvia said Tuesday that net income was $1.71 billion, or 57 cents per share, up from $1.59 billion, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, net income would have been $2.6 billion, or 88 cents per share. That was 9 cents better than analysts surveyed by FactSet expected.

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