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Merck: raises earnings outlook despite drop in sales

( - Merck raised its earnings guidance for the year on Friday, despite the impact of the Covid-19, as its second-quarter results rose.

The pharmaceutical giant said it now expects EPS of between 5.63 dollars and 5.78 dollars this year, including a negative effect from foreign exchange of approximately 3%.

Excluding items, Merck's net profit was 3.5 billion dollars, or 1.37 dollar per share, up 4% from the same quarter a year ago, as promotional and selling costs as well as research and development (R&D) expenses fell.

Second-quarter sales reached 10.9 dillion dollars, down 8% due to the impact of the Covid crisis, despite sales of its cancer blockbuster drug Keytruda jumping by 29% to 3.4 billion dollars, the drugmaker said.

Its shares are up 3% in premarket trading.

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