What's in the Cards for Merck KGaA (MKGAF) in Q4 Earnings?

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Merck KGaAMKGAF is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2017 results on Mar 8.

Merck's shares have declined 12.8% in the past year against the industry 's gain of 0.2%.

The company reports financial numbers under three business sectors - Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials.

Merck's revenues were driven by sales growth in its Healthcare and Life Science segments in the third quarter. We expect this positive trend to continue in the upcoming quarterly results. Meanwhile, the company is streamlining Healthcare business to focus on its pipeline of innovative medicines.

During the first half of 2017, the company received an approval for Bavencio for treatment of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC) and advanced bladder cancer in the United States. Moreover, the drug was approved in the EU and Japan for treating mMCC in September 2017.

During the period to be , Merck's multiple sclerosis drug, Mavenclad, was approved in Australia and Canada following its approval in Europe in the third quarter.

The company continues to develop Bavencio in partnership with Pfizer Inc. PFE for several cancer indications. However, the drug failed in a phase III study, conducted to evaluate it for the treatment of gastric cancer in the third-line setting.

Sales of three key drugs - Rebif, Erbitux and Gonal-f - are expected to be lower in fourth-quarter 2017 results. This downside is likely to be caused by persistent competitive pressure and price reduction. Moreover, unfavorable currency movement is anticipated to dent the top line.

Additionally, operating expenses increased during the first nine months of 2017 due to product launches and higher pipeline development cost. Expenses are estimated to rise as the company focuses on developing an innovative pipeline, the launch of Bavencio in new geographies as well as Mavenclad.

We expect management to shed light on progress and commercialization plans for Bavencio on the earnings call. The company is likely to provide updates on its strategic plans.

Merck KGaA Price and EPS Surprise

Merck KGaA Price and EPS Surprise | Merck KGaA Quote

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Gemphire Therapeutics Inc. GEMP is expected to release results on Mar 21. The company has an Earnings ESP of +24.74% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

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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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