News Summary: Merck 3Q net up 2 pct, beats views

REASSURING RESULTS: Drugmaker Merck posted a 2 percent increase in third-quarter profit, at $1.7 billion. That's despite new generic competition slashing sales for top seller Singulair for asthma and allergies. It had generated $5.5 billion a year.

THE STRATEGY: Merck boosted sales significantly for other key products, including diabetes pill Januvia and the Gardasil vaccine. It reduced spending on production, marketing, administration and research, and had a lower tax rate due to one-time benefits.

THE NUMBERS: Adjusted net income was $2.9 billion, or 95 cents per share, 2 cents more than expected. Revenue was down 4 percent at $11.5 billion.