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Merck (MRK) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Merck (MRK) closed at $77.42 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.91% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.18%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.14%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.74%.

Coming into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had gained 1.64% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 3.85%, while the S&P 500 lost 6.19%.

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. In that report, analysts expect MRK to post earnings of $1.04 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 6.12%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $11.05 billion, up 5.91% from the prior-year quarter.

MRK's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.34 per share and revenue of $42.29 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +9.05% and +5.41%, respectively.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK. 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.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. MRK is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking at its valuation, MRK is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 17.7. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 14.36.

We can also see that MRK currently has a PEG ratio of 2.08. 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 1.95 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 76, putting it in the top 30% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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