Merck and Schering-Plough were supposed to be reporting second-quarter earnings this morning, but they’re holding off on those announcements until the afternoon.

The reason: A Norwegian researcher is going to present “an update” from a study of Vytorin — the cholesterol drug whose problems have been a big issue for both companies this year.

The study, known as SEAS, looked at the effect of the drug in aortic stenosis, the narrowing or obstruction of the valve that lets blood flow from the heart into the aorta.

Aortic stenosis is relatively uncommon, but given all the attention that Vytorin’s been getting — and the absence of clear proof that the drug lowers the risks of heart attacks or strokes for people with routine high cholesterol — some industry watchers may try to draw conclusions from the study (good or bad) that go beyond aortic stenosis.

Click here to read the full story from the Wall Street Journal.