Sunday, November 14, 2010

Merck Exec's Extemp Commentary On India Plans -- Searching For A Stock Prop?

Suddenly, in "off-the-cuff" remarks, now twice in a week, a single Merck executive is being quoted on emerging markets strategy, thus per MarketWatch, this morning:

. . . .The company plans to launch a vaccine for rotavirus and a cardiovascular drug in India, Ramesh Subrahmanian, president of Merck's Asia-Pacific Human Health division, told reporters on the sidelines of the India Economic Summit.

Subrahmanian also said that the company is open to strategic partnerships in India.

"We are always looking for strategic partnerships and ways to build our presence not only in India but across the emerging markets, so inorganic growth is one of the things that we do look at," Subrahmanian said.

"It's not necessary that we have to make acquisitions. It has to fill a strategic gap. . . It could be a portfolio gap; it could be capability gap," he added. . . .

This seems too much, about too little -- twice in a week, the same Merck executive quoted -- with news on Merck's emerging market plans, and not in any SEC filing.

It feels a bit like an attempt to prop up the stock price.

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