Merck (MRK) closed the most recent trading day at $89.92, moving +0.46% from the previous trading session. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.15%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.11%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.24%.
Heading into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had gained 0.25% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's gain of 1.01% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.88% in that time.
MRK will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 5, 2020. In that report, analysts expect MRK to post earnings of $1.14 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 9.62%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $12.14 billion, up 10.35% from the year-ago period.
Any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK should also be noted by investors. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, 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. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.13% higher. MRK is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Digging into valuation, MRK currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 16.28. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 15.79, so we one might conclude that MRK is trading at a premium comparatively.
We can also see that MRK currently has a PEG ratio of 1.8. 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 1.95 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 54, which puts it in the top 22% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.
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