Merck profit rises, cuts 2020 forecast over COVID-19 uncertainty

(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) on Tuesday posted a 10.4% rise in first-quarter profit, helped by strong sales of cancer therapy Keytruda, but the drugmaker lowered its 2020 profit forecast due to uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company now expects its full-year adjusted profit forecast to be in the range of $5.17 to $5.37 per share, down from its prior estimates of between $5.62 and $5.77 per share.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to $3.22 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the quarter, from $2.92 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier.

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