The US is in chaos with civil uprisings across the country, while the world is suffering through an unprecedented pandemic. With the equity markets stretched to the brim, it is getting difficult to justify many stock purchases. Yet, there are still a few diamonds in the rough, and I am not talking about the overly exposed industries like cruises or airlines, but something that is on the front lines of fighting this unprecedented health crisis.
Joining the Race To Cure The Pandemic?
Merck (MRK - Free Report) is a pharmaceutical powerhouse that has been under-appreciated amid this health crisis. Its initial lack of efforts toward COVID kept big pharma investors at bay, but since it announced it would be joining the race for the vaccine/treatment, MRK has been gaining some robust upward momentum. These shares are up over 5% in the past 5 days.
Merck announced the last week of May that it was working towards two separate 2 vaccine efforts and 1 antiviral treatment. This pharmaceutical leader will leverage its positioning with its recently acquired Themis and partnership with International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Ridgeback Bio.
Gilead (GILD - Free Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) , and Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) are all in the fight against this virus. Each of them racing to get their vaccines and treatments to the public first.
Merck has a successful track record in vaccines, and its Themis acquisition further expands its expertise in this arena. Analysts are estimating the vaccine could boost Merck’s topline by anywhere between $2 to $5 billion, an approximately $1-2 share price impact.
Even Without a Vaccine Merck Is A Buy
Aside from its vaccine efforts, the company’s broader operations have stayed buoyant amid this pandemic. The business is currently not experiencing any production or supply issues, and demand remains strong.
Merck is best known for its immunotherapy cancer treatments, Keytruda, which has extended and saved the lives of countless cancer patients. This segment drives more than 1/4th of the company’s revenue, and the firm has 15 new Keytruda treatments in the pipeline for a cornucopia of different cancers. The antibody focused therapy that Keytruda utilizes gives Merck some knowledge that could help them expedite their COVID vaccine development.
Outside of Keytruda, Merck has a broad portfolio of essential drugs, vaccines, and animal health products that have consistently driven growth for the company. Merck is the leader in immunotherapy, which is revolutionizing the ability to fight the second leading cause of death in the world. MRK has a bright future, and I wouldn’t miss this buying opportunity.
MRK is down over 11% for the year, and I see this as an excellent opportunity to get into this multinational pharmaceutical giant at a discount. Merck’s healthy long-term outlook and cushy 3.1% dividend make this investment quite attractive at its current price level.
Zacks’ Single Best Pick to Double
From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each picked their favorite to gain +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Zacks Director of Research, Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.
This young company’s gigantic growth was hidden by low-volume trading, then cut short by the coronavirus. But its digital products stand out in a region where the internet economy has tripled since 2015 and looks to triple again by 2025.
Its stock price is already starting to resume its upward arc. The sky’s the limit! And the earlier you get in, the greater your potential gain.
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