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News Summary: Generic rivals hurt Merck's 2Q net

The Associated Press

In this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 photo, Merck scientist Meizhen Feng conducts research to discover new HIV drugs in West Point, Pa. Merck reports quarterly earnings on Tuesday, July 30, 3013. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WEAK QUARTER: Drugmaker Merck & Co. said its second-quarter net income fell by half as generic competition slashed revenue from several older medicines and sales of its top drug, diabetes pill Januvia, barely budged. Adjusted net income of 84 cents per share missed analyst estimates by 2 cents.

THE PROBLEMS: The company's been slammed by plunging sales for not just its former top seller, asthma and allergy pill Singulair, but migraine drug Maxalt, baldness treatment Propecia and allergy pill Clarinex. Total sales fell 11 percent. Acquisition costs and other charges also hurt the bottom line.

THE FUTURE: Merck backed its outlook for 2013 earnings per share of $1.84 to $2.05, excluding one-time charges and gains.