Merck (MRK) closed at $112.52 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.43% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.45%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 2.12%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 5.41%.
Coming into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had lost 5.49% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 3.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 1.53%.
Investors will be hoping for strength from Merck as it approaches its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect Merck to post earnings of $1.85 per share. This would mark a year-over-year decline of 1.07%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $14.42 billion, down 1.21% from the prior-year quarter.
MRK's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $6.95 per share and revenue of $58.79 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of -7.09% and -0.83%, respectively.
Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Merck. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about 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.
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 0.06% lower. Merck currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that Merck has a Forward P/E ratio of 15.96 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 14.56, which means Merck is trading at a premium to the group.
Also, we should mention that MRK has a PEG ratio of 1.93. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. Large Cap Pharmaceuticals stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.65 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 103, which puts it in the top 41% 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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