Merck’s Q2 Profit Surges, Matching View; More Jobs Cuts Coming (MRK)

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Drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) on Friday posted a sharp uptick in second quarter profits, meeting analyst estimates, and announced a new round of impending job cuts.

The Whitehouse Station, NJ-based company reported second quarter net income $2.02 billion, or 65 cents per share, compared with $752 million, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, adjusted profit was 95 cents per share.

Net sales rose 7% from last year to $12.15 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a matching profit of 95 cents per share, on lower revenue of $11.78 billion.

Looking ahead, Merck boosted the low-end of its 2011 earnings forecast. It now expects adjusted results of $3.68 to $3.76 per share, while analysts are looking for $3.74.

The company also unveiled plans to cut 12% to 13% of its workforce by the end of 2015 as part of ongoing restructuring efforts.

Merck shares fell 43 cents, or -1.2%, in premarket trading Friday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Merck ( MRK ) have a 4.35% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $34.93. The stock has technical support in the $31-$32 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $36-$38 price levels.

Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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