The maker of diabetes pill Januvia and asthma and allergy medicine Singulair said Friday that its net income was US$1.79 billion, or 58 cents per share, down from $2.02 billion, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, net income was $3.23 billion, or $1.05 per share, up from $2.95 billion, or 95 cents per share, in 2011's second quarter. That beat analysts' expectations of earnings per share of $1.01.
Revenue rose 1.3 per cent to $12.31 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected $12.15 billion.
Pharmaceutical sales rose 2 per cent, to $10.56 billion.
Sales were led by Singulair, up 3 per cent to $1.43 billion in its last quarter before generic competition arrives on Aug. 3 and starts to cut sales. Sales of Januvia and combo pill Janumet both jumped about 30 per cent, to $1.06 billion and $411 million, respectively.
Sales of veterinary medicines climbed 8 per cent to $865 million, and sales of consumer health products such as the Coppertone sun care line edged up 2 per cent to $552 million.
"This quarter we delivered strong operational performance by focusing on growth and execution,' CEO Kenneth Frazier said in a statement.
Merck reiterated its 2012 forecast for profit of $2.04 to $2.30, or $3.75 to $3.85 per share excluding charges.
Shares of Merck rose $1.17, or 2.7 per cent, to $44.50 in premarket trading.