Merck's Q2 2010 earnings are out -- and Whitehouse Station has tightened its 2010 guidance range for EPS, raising the bottom by two cents, and lowering the top by two cents, on a non-GAAP basis.
The real story though, is that it has slashed the GAAP EPS range -- now $0.82 to $1.16 for the full year. As recently as June 2, 2010 (a PDF file), this was Merck's 2010 guidance -- so, the lowering reflects additional GAAP down-bubbles since June 2:
. . . .As of June 2, 2010, the company reconfirms its full year 2010 guidance non-GAAP EPS range of $3.27 to $3.41, excluding certain items and 2010 GAAP EPS range of $1.15 to $1.50. The company also reconfirms its long-term target high single digit non-GAAP EPS compound annual growth rate from 2009 to 2013. . . .
Wild. Literally. The BOTTOM, on a GAAP basis, as of June 2, 2010 is now the top.
Merck is now off $0.86 in NASDAQ moderate volume premarket trading.
Seamus Fernadez of Leerink, Swann now says that Merck has reported in-line (no $0.03 EPS "beat") Q2 results this morning -- when the company's lower than expected tax rate is excluded -- he's clearly disappointed. He had been particularly bullish before this morning.
Sales are weaker than earlier expected, globally -- just as they were at J&J, ten days ago -- there's your driver.