Tomahawk, WI 02/20/2014 (BasicsMedia) – Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) declared its fourth quarter financial results revealing a fall in its worldwide sales by 4% as compared to the same quarter last year. Merck has failed analyst’s estimates and Wall Street predictions. Merck has attributed its fall in sales to strong competition from cheaper generic medicines which have cut into Merck’s market. Furthermore, over the last month Merck’s stock has faced intensive insider selling with almost 7 insiders selling their shareholding in Merck and none of the insiders purchasing any stock over the month, however no clear reason has been found for such selling by the insiders.

Merck’s performance      

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) reported fourth quarter worldwide sales of $11.3 billion, its GAAP EPS decreased by 13% to $0.26 and it returned $11 billion to shareholders in 2013 through dividend and share repurchases. Merck’s earnings report has disappointed analysts but Merck’s innovation in pharmaceuticals has kept it share from falling in the market. Merck has announced its collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) to explore the therapeutic potential of its anti cancer drug alongwith two of Pfizer’s assets.  Merck’s stock prices rose after this announcement was made public.

Merck’s future

The good news for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is that its animal health division has received marketing authorization from European Commission for its veterinary medicinal product BRAVECTO™, which is a chewable tablet for dogs. This tablet is known for effectively killing fleas and ticks in dogs for up to twelve weeks in a single dose. Merck is planning to launch its product BRAVECTO™ in various other countries like Germany, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy within the year 2014 thereby increasing its chances of earnings higher revenues and generating stronger worldwide sales of its products. However, troubling news for Merck is that according to a New Jersey Judge’s direction Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) may very well have to pay $100 million to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the safety issues involved in the use of its contraceptive NuvaRing which is believed to pose higher risk of heart attack inducing blood clots as compared to its competitors products.

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