Merck first quarter earnings surpassed analysts’ estimates, thanks in large part to its success in lung cancer treatment.
For the three months ending in March, the pharma company’s GAAP earnings came in at $1.12 per share, beating the Street consensus estimates by seven cents. The earnings per share more than quadrupled from the year-ago quarter.
Merck’s total revenues surged +8% year-over-year to $10.8 billion, on the back of a +55% sales growth of Keytruda lung cancer treatment.
CEO Ken Frazier highlighted investments in research and development as one of the factors behind Merck’s strong quarter.
Looking ahead, Merck lifted its full-year 2019 revenue outlook to a range of $43.9 to $45.1 billion, while forecasting GAAP earnings to range between $4.02 and $4.12 per share.
The company also revealed a global restructuring plan - which includes closing plants and slashing jobs - that is expected to get completed by 2023. According to Merck, pre-tax charge of between $800 million and $12 billion will mostly go towards paying employee separation and plant closure costs.