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MARION MERRELL DOW REPORTS 16 PERCENT GAIN IN THIRD-QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE

 MARION MERRELL DOW REPORTS 16 PERCENT GAIN
 IN THIRD-QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) today reported solid increases in sales and earnings for the third quarter of 1992 compared with a year earlier. Brisk international growth and higher sales of the Cardizem(R) family and the smoking cessation products were key factors in this strong performance, which was partially offset by a slowdown in sales of the Seldane(R) nonsedating antihistamine line.
 Net sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, were $838 million, up 17 percent from a year earlier, while net income rose 15 percent to $178 million. Earnings per share totaled 64 cents, a 16 percent increase from a year ago.
 For the first nine months of the year, net sales reached $2.5 billion, an increase of 21 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $549 million, up 20 percent. Earnings per share for the first nine months rose 21 percent to $1.95.
 "We turned in a very good performance for the third quarter and are on track for a strong full-year earnings increase for 1992," said Fred W. Lyons, Jr., president and chief executive officer. "We're quite pleased with the progress of our new Cardizem CD(R) and our international results. In addition, we are pleased that our Nicoderm(R) patch is back in full supply, and we look forward to providing this important smoking cessation aid to more patients."
 The Cardizem family of cardiovascular drugs accounted for $282 million in sales in the third quarter, a 23 percent increase from a year earlier. For the first nine months of 1992, sales were $746 million, an 18 percent increase.
 Sales of the new once-a-day Cardizem CD increased rapidly, to $80 million in the third quarter, as patients continued to shift to the more convenient, less expensive Cardizem CD for hypertension (high blood pressure). On Oct. 15, the company received clearance to market Cardizem CD for the important additional indication of angina (chest pain due to insufficient blood flow to the heart). "Final approval of Cardizem CD for angina helps both patients and physicians because, for the first time, a single convenient dosage form is now available for both angina and hypertension -- at a lower price than the other dosage forms," Lyons said.
 Sales of the Seldane family (terfenadine) were $199 million in the third quarter, a decline of 7 percent from a year earlier. For the first nine months of 1992, Seldane family sales were $700 million, a 17 percent increase. As reported previously, global labeling for terfenadine was modified in July to strengthen warnings for patients with specific risk factors. The company believes that widespread publicity about the relabeling contributed significantly to the third- quarter decline in Seldane family sales.
 In late July, Marion Merrell Dow submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a comprehensive package of terfenadine safety studies intended to clarify the product's safety. "We believe that scientific review of our safety studies will reaffirm that Seldane continues to be safe and effective when used as directed," Lyons said.
 The company's smoking cessation products, which include the new Nicoderm transdermal system and Nicorette(R) gum, produced third-quarter sales of $71 million, more than twice the $29 million in 1991 sales from Nicorette alone. Third-quarter sales included $58 million in Nicoderm and $13 million in Nicorette. In the first nine months of 1992, smoking cessation sales totaled $247 million, nearly three times the sales of Nicorette alone in the like period of 1991. In the third quarter, additional production capacity made ample supplies of Nicoderm available for the first time in several months, and Marion Merrell Dow has returned to full promotion of Nicoderm in the United States and Canada.
 Sales of Marion Merrell Dow's antiulcer drug Carafate(R), aided by wholesale buying patterns, rose 17 percent to $61 million in the quarter and 2 percent to $150 million for the first nine months.
 The company's strong international growth continued, fueled by sales of existing and new products and by the company's previously announced acquisition in Germany. International sales increased 33 percent for the quarter and 31 percent for the first nine months. New products contributing to the growth in international sales include the Nicoderm patch, the antiepilepsy drug Sabril(R), the antibiotic Targocid(R) and an asthma and arthritis drug, deflazacort.
 Marion Merrell Dow is a research-based global pharmaceutical organization dedicated to improving the longevity and quality of human life. The company is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products around the world. In 1991, Marion Merrell Dow had sales of $2.85 billion and invested nearly $400 million in Research and Development.
 MARION MERRELL DOW INC.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME(a)
 Three and Nine Months Ended Sept. 30
 (Amounts in Millions, Except for Per Share Data)
 For the Three Months For the Nine Months
 Ended Sept. 30, Ended Sept. 30,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $838 $716 $2,523 $2,078
 Cost of sales 222 168 614 480
 Gross profit 616 548 1,909 1,598
 Operating expenses:
 Research and development 109 92 337 265
 Selling, general and
 administrative 264 231 802 661
 Total operating
 expenses 373 323 1,139 926
 Operating income 243 225 770 672
 Other income, net 18 22 50 50
 Interest expense 2 3 7 11
 Income before income
 taxes 259 244 813 711
 Income taxes 81 89 264 255
 Net income 178 155 549 456
 Less preferred stock
 dividends 1 1 4 4
 Net income available
 to common shareholders $177 $154 $545 $452
 Weighted average number
 of outstanding common
 shares - assuming
 full dilution 279 282 281 282
 Earnings per common
 share - assuming
 full dilution $.64 $.55 $1.95 $1.61
 Cash dividends per
 common share $.25 $.23 $.73 $.66
 (a) Unaudited data
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Charles F. Rouse III or Richard M. Johnson of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC) CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU: ERN


MC-BB -- DV009 -- 2719 10/21/92 09:22 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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