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Merck (MRK) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Merck (MRK) closed at $80.26 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.33% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.28%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.02%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.61%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the pharmaceutical company had gained 0.2% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's loss of 2.74% and the S&P 500's loss of 6.3% in that time.

MRK will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect MRK to post earnings of $1.14 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 7.55%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $10.91 billion, up 4.29% from the year-ago period.

MRK's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.73 per share and revenue of $44.35 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +8.99% and +4.86%, respectively.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK should also be noted by investors. 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 ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.36% higher. MRK is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Investors should also note MRK's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 16.76. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 14.25, which means MRK is trading at a premium to the group.

It is also worth noting that MRK currently has a PEG ratio of 1.87. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. MRK's industry had an average PEG ratio of 2.06 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 59, which puts it in the top 24% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.


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