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Merck (MRK) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

·3 min read

In the latest trading session, Merck (MRK) closed at $87.42, marking a +0.63% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.66% gain on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.61%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.05%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the pharmaceutical company had lost 2.6% over the past month. This has was narrower than the Medical sector's loss of 4.7% and the S&P 500's loss of 3.79% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from Merck as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be October 27, 2022. In that report, analysts expect Merck to post earnings of $1.73 per share. This would mark a year-over-year decline of 1.14%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $14.3 billion, up 8.73% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $7.32 per share and revenue of $58.85 billion, which would represent changes of +21.59% and +17.33%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Merck. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. Merck is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that Merck has a Forward P/E ratio of 11.87 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 12.61, so we one might conclude that Merck is trading at a discount comparatively.

It is also worth noting that MRK currently has a PEG ratio of 1.17. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.86 as of yesterday's close.

The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 92, which puts it in the top 37% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.


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