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Merck (NYSE:MRK) is expected to report Q4 earnings before the market open on Thursday, February 2 with a conference call scheduled for 8:00 am ET.

Guidance

Analysts are looking for EPS of 95c on revenue of $12.53B. The consensus range is 93c-97c for EPS, and $12.19B-$12.89B for revenue, according to First Call. After reporting better-than-expected EPS and revenue in Q3, the company gave a forecast of FY11 EPS $3.72-$3.76 vs. consensus $3.76 and saw FY11 revenue growth in the mid-single digit percentage range vs. consensus $48.23B. In the previous quarter, the company announced Singulair revenue $1.45B, Januvia revenue $864M, Animal Health revenue $826M, and Consumer Care revenue $421M. Investors will be looking for growth in these markets as well as updates on the company's strategy to pursue new drugs and invest in research. They will also be looking to hear how American and European efforts to curb health spending is impacting Merck.

Analyst Views

In the past quarter, the company announced encouraging results for Victrelis, but negative results from its Tracer study. It did, however, receive FDA approval for its updated Vytorin label. Merck was initiated with a Buy at MKM Partners and at ISI Group, and was downgraded to Hold at Jeffries.

Source: Earnings Preview: Merck