Merck ( MRK) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 83 cents a share, topping the estimates of analysts of 77 cents a share.

Including restructuring charges and merger-related expenses, second-quarter earnings were 74 cents a share. Net income fell to $1.56 billion from $1.77 billion a year earlier.

Worldwide sales fell 3% to $5.9 billion in the quarter. Merck said excluding the impact of foreign exchange total revenue would have risen 3%. Analysts forecast sales of $5.84 billion.

In a statement Tuesday, Merck said earnings were driven by "strong growth" in its newest pharmaceutical products and in allergy drug Singulair.

Merck is expected to complete its merger with Schering-Plough in the fourth quarter. Schering-Plough saw its profit rise 48% in the quarter, as it recorded lower one-time costs.

Schering-Plough earned $633 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $424 million, or 26 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items, profit rose to 46 cents a share from 45 cents a share, beating analyst estimates by a penny a share.
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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