News Summary: Charges help cut Merck Q4 profit

News Summary: Drugmaker Merck's Q4 profit falls 7 percent on charges, generic competition

Associated Press

PROFIT DROP: Lower sales due to generic competition and one-time charges cut Merck & Co.'s fourth-quarter profit by 7 percent, to $1.4 billion, or 46 cents per share. Sales were down 5 percent, at $11.74 billion.

UNEXPECTED DELAY: Merck said it's reviewing safety and efficacy data from a crucial late-stage patient test of its experimental osteoporosis drug. It will hold off from applying for approval of the drug, odanacatib, until 2014. It had originally planned file in the first half of this year.

FINANCIAL FORECAST: Merck expects 2013 earnings per share of $3.60 to $3.70, excluding charges, and revenue around $47 billion.

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