Thursday, April 26, 2012

Consensus Estimates For Q1; Merck Earnings Call Tomorrow, Pre-NYSE Open

My guess? Probably in-line -- with some 2 percent of continuing (mostly euro-driven) currency headwind, at the sales line -- as J&J reported much the same (earlier in this earnings cycle). But watch closely to see how Merck's boceprevir (branded as Victrelis®) sales for the quarter stack up against Vertex's telaprevir (branded as Incivek®) -- in the Hep C wars. I expect the 85-15 split will hold, in favor of Vertex, when Vertex reports after the closing bell on the NYSE tonight.

Here's just a bit of Linda Johnson's fine reporting for the AP Newswires, this morning -- do go read all of hers:

. . . .Merck is buying a 51 percent stake in a new joint venture in Brazil called Supera Farma Laboratorios SA. It will make and sell new drugs and branded generics made by Merck and the two other partners. All three companies will continue running their own businesses in Brazil, one of the world's biggest and fastest-growing pharmaceutical markets due to its expanding middle class.

[CEO and Chairman of Merck Ken] Frazier is also expected to discuss preparation for the patent expiration of respiratory drug Singulair® this summer. Merck likely will follow the lead of other big drugmakers and make a deal with a generic drugmaker to sell an authorized generic version of Singulair. . . .

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expect earnings per share of 98 cents and sales of $11.83 billion.

Merck reported profit of 34 cents per share, or 92 cents excluding one-time items, on revenue of $$11.58 billion [in Q1 2011]. . .

We'll live blog it -- if there's any material upside or downside surprise.


Condor said...

Interestingly -- Vertex just reported Q1 2012 sales for Incivek were "only" $357 million.

That's about $100 million lighter than the early launch quarters were -- in 2011.

Now we wait to see if Merck has been able to reach the $90 million barrier, in quarterly Victrelis sales. Thus far, Merck's high-water mark for any single quarter has been $87 million.

I'll post on it, up or down, tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

This may be Merck's only chance at higher sales. The FDA updated the label to exclude use with HIV drugs. I also saw an article over on Ed's space about the Big Liver Meeting and it seems the current commander in the Hep C wars, Vertex, is losing rank to other therapies poised for 2012 approval. That would push Merck to #3 even without the HIV label update.

My analysis says Merck will report 1 or 2 cents below estimates. Like you say Condor, up or down, it will be posted tomorrow.