NEW YORK (Trefis) -- Merck (MRK) recently declared its results for the first quarter. A lot happened during this quarter that can potentially impact the company's ongoing business. During this period, it reported uniform growth across all segments with better cost control and gains from certain nonrecurring items ensured net earnings jump of nearly 67% from $1.07 billion to $1.77 billion.The noteworthy nonrecurring items were $500 million gain related to resolution of the arbitration proceedings with Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) and $134 million gain on sale of certain manufacturing assets. If we analyze the results excluding the nonrecurring items and restructuring costs, the results are still encouraging with almost 9.1% growth in earnings compared to same period last year.
Zioptan, a drug prescribed for ophthalmic symptoms received an FDA nod for use in cases of ocular hypertension. Ocular hypertension is a condition characterized by an increase in pressure inside the eye. Merck recently also ventured into developing medication for ovarian cancer through a partnership with Endocyte. As a result of some of the better performing drugs like Januvia, Janumet, Isentress and Gardasil and maintained growth of established drugs like Singulair, Merck registered a 3% growth in pharmaceuticals from $9.8 billion to $10.1 billion. However, the results were adjusted to exclude sales of Remicade and Simponi from the units transferred to Johnson & Johnson as a result of the arbitration settlement agreement.