Merck increases net income 7 percent

Associated Press

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- Pharmaceuticals giant Merck &; Co. reported a 7 percent jump in second-quarter net income as increased sales offset higher spending on marketing and research.

The maker of arthritis drug Vioxx and the cholesterol drug Zocor reported net income of $1.87 billion, or 83 cents per share. A year ago, Merck posted net income of $1.75 billion, or 77 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected 84 cents per share.

Total revenues increased 4 percent, to $13.3 billion from $12.8 billion a year earlier.

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