WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) - Drugmaker Merck & Co. says third-quarter profit rose 2 percent as reduced spending on overhead offset lower sales caused by new generic competition for its top-selling drug, Singulair. The maker of diabetes pill Januvia narrowed its 2012 profit forecast, to a range of $2.08 to $2.24 per share, from its July forecast of $2.04 to $2.30.
Merck says net income was $1.73 billion, or 56 cents per share. That was up from $1.69 billion, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding charges totaling $1.2 billion, net income was $2.93 billion, or 95 cents per share, 2 cents more than analysts expected. Revenue was $11.5 billion, down 4 percent. Analysts expected $11.57 billion. Sales of asthma and allergy pill Singulair dove 55 percent, to $602 million.
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