The Kenilworth, New Jersey–based drugmaker also announced plans to spin off three segments into a new company.
Merck & Co. Inc., recorded worldwide sales of $46.8 billion in fiscal year 2020, according to the company's latest earnings report Wednesday morning.
For Q4 2019, Merck achieved worldwide sales of $11.9 billion, up 8% year-over-year, along with an earnings per share of $0.92, up from $0.69 in Q4 2018.
The Kenilworth, New Jersey–based drugmaker also posted a net income of $2.3 billion, an increase of 29% compared to this time last year.
In addition to the release of year-end financials, Merck announced plans to spin off its women's health, trusted legacy brands, and biosimilar products into a new, independent company.
"As evidenced by our results and our 2020 guidance, Merck had an extraordinary year and is in a position of operational and financial strength," Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, said in a statement. "It is this position of strength, born of our focused execution, that gives us the confidence to spin off our Women’s Health, trusted Legacy Brands and Biosimilar products into a new company, which will position us to deliver even greater value to patients and shareholders."
One of the most significant moves for Merck during Q4 was the announcement that the company was buying ArQule Inc., a Burlington, Massachussetts–based biopharmaceutical company, for about $2.7 billion.
For fiscal year (FY) 2020, Merck expects its worldwide sales to be between $48.8 billion and $50.3 billion, which includes a negative impact of less than 1% due to foreign exchange.
Additionally, the company projects its full year EPS to be between $4.57 and $4.72 per share.
Merck's earnings came one day after President Donald Trump's third State of the Union address, where he called on Congress to deliver a bipartisan bill to lower prescription drug prices.
Frazier participated in a congressional hearing last spring on the issue of high prescription drug costs. At the hearing, Frazier supported the idea of a more robust domestic biosimilars market to fix incentive alignments for drugmakers.
For complete financial information, review Merck's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
Photo credit: RAHWAY, NJ - JULY 17: A sign at the entrance to a Merck plant in Rahway, New Jersey on July 17, 2017. Merck is an American pharmaceutical company. / Editorial credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com