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Has Merck (MRK) Outpaced Other Medical Stocks This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Medical stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Is Merck & Co. (MRK - Free Report) one of those stocks right now? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Medical peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Merck & Co. is one of 764 individual stocks in the Medical sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #8 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. MRK is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for MRK's full-year earnings has moved 1.96% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.

Our latest available data shows that MRK has returned about 1.97% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, Medical stocks have lost an average of 3.18%. As we can see, Merck & Co. is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

To break things down more, MRK belongs to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, a group that includes 14 individual companies and currently sits at #94 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 4.10% so far this year, so MRK is performing better in this area.

Investors with an interest in Medical stocks should continue to track MRK. The stock will be looking to continue its solid performance.

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