Merck (MRK) closed the most recent trading day at $71.45, moving +1.49% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.66%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.99%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.63%.
Heading into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had lost 0.45% over the past month, outpacing the Medical sector's loss of 9.8% and the S&P 500's loss of 8.1% in that time.
Wall Street will be looking for positivity from MRK as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be February 1, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.01, up 3.06% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $11.03 billion, up 5.71% from the prior-year quarter.
MRK's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.31 per share and revenue of $42.39 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +8.29% and +5.65%, respectively.
Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK. 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.
Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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.
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 has moved 0.74% higher. MRK currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
In terms of valuation, MRK is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 16.33. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 14, which means MRK is trading at a premium to the group.
Also, we should mention that MRK has a PEG ratio of 2.16. 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 1.91 as of yesterday's close.
The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 98, putting it in the top 38% 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.