News Summary: Generic rivals hurt Merck results

The Associated Press
May 1, 2013

BAD NEWS: First-quarter sales and net income for Merck & Co. both plunged — 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively — as the world's third-largest drugmaker got slammed by generic competition to multiple drugs. It cut its earnings forecast, sending shares down 3 percent in unusually heavy trading.

THE FORECAST: Merck said it expects better results in the second half of the year. It's now expecting 2013 earnings per share of $3.45 to $3.55, 15 cents below its February forecast.

ON DECK: Merck has five drugs under review by regulators, including a promising insomnia medicine called suvorexant.