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Updated from 7:22 a.m. EST



) --


(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report

posted adjusted earnings of 79 cents a share, in line with analysts' fourth-quarter estimates, as it works to integrate


which it acquired in November 2009.

Merck said fourth-quarter sales were $10.1 billion, up from $6.03 billion a year earlier, as it benefited from the addition of Schering-Plough's operations.

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GAAP earnings in the quarter were $6.49 billion, or $2.35 a share.

"The new Merck is off to an excellent start," said Richard Clark, chairman and CEO, in a statement Tuesday. "Our performance last quarter was characterized by strong growth in key brands and continued investment in our newest products and promising late-stage pipeline."

Merck said Tuesday it is "committed to achieving" its previously announced savings target of $3.5 billion in 2012.

In announcing a new restructuring program, Merck said it expects to reduce its total work force of 100,000 by 15% by the end of 2012.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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