Merck Co. (MRK - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday, and raised its full-year profit guidance, as its blockbuster breast cancer treatment Keytruda saw sales rise past $2.6 billion.
Merck said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in June came in at $1.30 per share, up 22.6% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.05 per share. Group revenues, Merck said, rose 12% to $11.8 billion, topping the $10.9 billion tally forecast by analysts that cover the drugmaker. Keytruda sales surged 58% from last year to $2.63 billion, Merck said.
Looking into 2019, Merck said it sees full-year non-GAAP earnings in the range of $4.84 to $4.94 per share, and narrowed its revenue forecast range to $45.2 billion to $46.2 billion.
"Our science-led strategy and execution across our key growth pillars have driven another quarter of accelerating revenue growth with strength across our global portfolio," said CEO Ken Frazier. "We remain confident that our innovative products and significant pipeline opportunities will continue to deliver strong results and provide sustainable value to patients and shareholders."
Merck shares were marked 1.4% higher following the earnings release to change hands at $83.64 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 10.5%.