Merck to spin off as­sets with $6.5B in sales

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS -

Drug­maker Merck beat Wall Street’s fourth-quar­ter profit ex­pec­ta­tions. In­vestors weren’t as happy, though, with Merck’s plan to spin off its women’s health divi­sion and some other drugs with $6.5 bil­lion in an­nual rev­enues. The maker of can­cer block­buster Keytruda said the two re­sult­ing com­pa­nies each can grow faster and de­velop more new medicines, ben­e­fit­ing pa­tients. But in­vestors sold off shares, push­ing their price down more than 3%. Merck posted a 29% jump in fourth-quar­ter profit, with net in­come of $2.36 bil­lion. That’s up from $1.83 bil­lion a year ear­lier. Rev­enue was $11.87 bil­lion, up 8%.

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