Merck Shares Rise as Covid Antiviral Sales Could Mean Billions for the Company

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Merck & Co. saw its shares rise on Thursday by over 5% as the company’s closely watched Covid-19 antiviral molnupiravir could bring in as much as $7 billion in global sales through 2022, according to the drugmaker.

This figure includes up to $1 billion revenue in 2021 if the drug is authorized in December said CFO Caroline Litchfield.

Litchfield has projected at least $5 billion in sales by the end of 2021, if the experimental drug is cleared.

Merck’s drug Molnupiravir has become one of the most highly anticipated coronavirus medications.

The company’s pill is relatively cheap to make and easy to transport and the company aims to have it distributed widely, including in low-income countries.
“There are now signs of recovery here, and Merck has the added bonus, in the near-term at least, from its oral Covid-19 therapy, molnupiravir,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sam Fazeli remarked.

Merck beat Wall Street’s expectations in its latest quarterly report and raised its annual forecast. Quarterly adjusted earnings were $1.75 a share, beating analysts’ average estimate by 20 cents, and revenue was $13.2 billion, compared with Wall Street expectations of $12.3 billion.

Adjusted earnings for the year will be $5.65 to $5.70 a share, up from the earlier guidance of $5.47 to $5.57, the drugmaker said in a statement.

Revenue will be $47.4 billion to $47.9 billion, compared with the earlier guidance that topped out at $47.4 billion. The projections don’t include potential molnupiravir sales.

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.