updated 7/24/2006 11:19:17 AM ET 2006-07-24T15:19:17

Merck & Co. said Monday its profit more than doubled in the second quarter, mainly due to sharply higher income from its partnerships to sell cholesterol drugs and other medicines and a large tax charge that depressed results a year ago.

The maker of osteoporosis treatment Fosamax and Singulair for asthma and allergies reported net income of $1.5 billion, or 69 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, up from $720.6 million, or 33 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2005.

The profit a year ago was depressed by a net tax charge of $640 million primarily related to the repatriation of foreign earnings.

Revenue totaled $5.77 billion, up 5.6 percent from $5.47 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings per share of 65 cents on sales of $5.46 billion.

For the first six months of the year, Merck reported net income of $3.02 billion, or $1.38 per share, up 44 percent from $2.09 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues totaled $11.2 billion, up 3 percent from $10.83 billion a year earlier.

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