Merck (MRK) Comes Through

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Merck (MRK) announced third-quarter 2007 earnings per share of $0.75, excluding restructuring charges, and third-quarter reported EPS of $0.70. Worldwide sales were $6.1 billion for the quarter, an increase of 12 percent from the third quarter of 2006. Net income for the third quarter of 2007 was $1,525.5 million compared with $940.6 million in the third quarter of 2006.

Merck raises full-year 2007 EPS guidance and now anticipates EPS range of $3.08 to $3.14, excluding the restructuring charges related to site closures and position eliminations. Merck anticipates reported full-year 2007 EPS of $2.87 to $2.93.

That guidance was enough to send the shares up 1.3% before the bell.

Douglas A. McIntyre