Merck & Co. MRK, +1.44% said Friday it had net income of $1.827 billion, or 69 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, after a loss of $1.046 billion, or 39 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. The year-earlier number reflects a $1.4 billion charge related to the formation of a strategic oncology collaboration with Eisai Co., Ltd., the company said in a statement. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.04, a penny ahead of the $1.03 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 5% to $10.99 billion from $10.43 billion, also ahead of the $10.95 billion FactSet consensus. Sales of the company’s Keytruda rose 66% to $2.15 billion. Merck is now expecting 2019 sales of $43.2 billion to $44.7 billion and adjusted EPS of $4.57 to $4.72. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $4.69 and sales of $44.2 billion. Shares were slightly lower premarket, but have gained 24% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.86% has fallen 4%.
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