Merck to spin off assets with $6.5B in sales
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%.