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MRK had a greater fall in percentage terms than Pfizer from both its pre-crash high and its bubble-economy high.Earlier in the decade, MRK suffered five consecutive years without a single year of earnings growth:$3.14 in 2001$3.14 in 2002$2.92 in 2003$2.61 in 2004$2.53 in 2005$2.52 in 2006Pfizer has never had more than a single down year.MRK has also had two incredible fiascoes the last lustrum or so:1) Vioxx2) Delaying for two years the adverse clinical tests for Vytorin and ZetiaMRK is also a lot more vulnerable than Pfizer is if government starts immediately taxing the earnings of foreign subsidiaries. PFE already pays a 30% tax while MRK's tax rate is just 25%.If they both had to pay 35% or close to it, MRK's earnings would be hit much harder.
Hey chief, compare...the markets have spoken.http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=1y&s=PFE&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=mrk
The worm has turned and the market has been singing a new tune since the first Friday of the month.MRK was $34.22 at that time and in pre-market is about $34.75, a gain of 1.6% or so.During that same stretch, Pfizer has risen from $14.14 to about $15.05 which is 6.5%.Pfizer has outperformed by almost 5% over the last double fortnight.