As I said I would over the weekend, here are a few sign-posts -- to watch for -- on Merck's Q2 2010 results webcast early Friday morning (I just wrote this for another purpose, but I'll reprint it here, now):
. . . .I now think Merck will post essentially in-line results, at the EPS line, but slightly below consensus (as did J&J, a week ago) at the sales line, globally.
I think currencies (when translated back to US Dollars) will continue to be an issue -- I think EU zone (Greece, particularly) sales will show the effects of austerity measures, and price cutting.
Even so, I expect Whitehouse Station to say that its most-recent round of 17,500 firings in Q2 have (mostly) covered these gaps.
What I am really waiting on are status reports/updates on:
(i) The Remicade®/Simponi® J&J/Centocor arbitration or settlement talks
(ii) Any additions to reserves for Fosamax® liability, globally (post the $8 million federal jury verdict in Manhattan)
(iii) Any additions/new reserves for the Vytorin®/Zetia® ENHANCE-related federal and state litigation outcomes
(iv) Status of the Vioxx® opt-outs (people who've chosen not to take the global settlement)
(v) An update on the timing for an ECC/FTC transaction filing on the "New" Merial JV contribution of legacy Schering-Plough's Organon Animal Health assets, and. . .
(vi) Any update on the criminal investigations underway at the DoJ.
That's most of what I'll be looking for. . . .
Stay tuned for analyst commentary.