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Actionable news in MRK: MERCK & CO. Inc,

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Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Merck — The drugmaker earned an adjusted 89 cents per share for the first quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates, although revenue was short of forecasts. Merck did see a negative impact from currency fluctuations, as well as a drop in sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade.

Alibaba — The China-based online retail giant saw earnings miss forecasts, but revenue did beat analyst projections and Alibaba also saw increases in the key metric of gross merchandise volume.

Limited Brands — The Victoria's Secret parent reported a 1 percent rise in comparable store sales for April, below the consensus estimate of a 4.8 percent increase.

Time Inc. — The publisher lost an adjusted 11 cents per share for its latest quarter, 3 cents a share less than expected. Its revenue exceeded Street forecasts. Time's results were helped by increases in digital advertising and by contributions from acquisitions.

Becton Dickinson — The medical products maker beat estimates by 16 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.18 per share. Revenue was essentially in line with expectations. The company also raised its full-year forecast.

Avon Products — The cosmetics company posted a surprise loss of seven cents per share; analysts expected a 2 cents a share profit. Revenue was very slightly above forecasts, but the company struggled to boost growth in some key overseas markets like Brazil and China.

Discovery Communications — The media company beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 42 cents per share. Revenue was in line with forecasts. The company cited strong viewership on a variety of platforms as factors...