Merck in profit warning

Merck & Co yesterday warned investors that it could no longer vouch for its long-term profit forecast due to pressure to curb prices on its drugs and dimmed hopes for an experimental blood clot treatment. Shares of the second-largest US drugmaker fell nearly three per cent after it yanked its profit view for 2009 through 2013 and forecast 2011 results that fell short of Wall Street estimates. Merck also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and earnings.