Merck Raises Outlook

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Merck & Co. announced today that it anticipates its first quarter earnings per share (EPS) will be 62 cents, subject to final review of its first quarter results.

Merck attributed these anticipated results to a number of factors including ongoing cost management, the favorable impact of foreign exchange and overall revenue performance. Sales of Merck products were consistent with the company’s expectations. The company reaffirmed its previously announced 2005 full-year EPS guidance of $2.42 to $2.52.

This guidance does not reflect the establishment of any reserves for any potential liability relating to the VIOXX litigation. This guidance also does not reflect any changes currently under consideration by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the way issuers account for stock options. Furthermore, this guidance does not include any one time impacts that may result from the repatriation of permanently reinvested off-shore earnings under the American Jobs Creation Act.

As previously announced, Merck will report its actual first quarter earnings on Thursday, April 21. The company will hold its first-quarter 2005 sales and earnings conference call with institutional investors and analysts beginning at 9 a.m. ET that day. During the call, Graeme Bell, senior director, Investor Relations, will provide an overview of Merck’s financial performance for the quarter.

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Merck Raises Outlook
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