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Merck (MRK) Stock Moves -0.68%: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Merck (MRK) closed the most recent trading day at $83.61, moving -0.68% from the previous trading session. This move was narrower than the S&P 500's daily loss of 1.23%. At the same time, the Dow lost 1.28%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.13%.

Coming into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had lost 2.65% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 1.2%, while the S&P 500 gained 1.95%.

MRK will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.25, up 5.04% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $11.73 billion, up 8.64% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.92 per share and revenue of $46.09 billion. These totals would mark changes of +13.36% and +8.97%, respectively, from last year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-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. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.11% higher. MRK currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Looking at its valuation, MRK is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 17.11. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 14.53, 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 1.71. 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. Large Cap Pharmaceuticals stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 2.12 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 22, putting it in the top 9% 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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