Merck (MRK - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $79.22, moving -0.15% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.09%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 1.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.51%.
Heading into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had gained 8.51% over the past month, outpacing the Medical sector's gain of 4.8% and the S&P 500's gain of 1.92% 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. In that report, analysts expect MRK to post earnings of $1.04 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 6.12%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $11.05 billion, up 5.91% from the year-ago period.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.34 per share and revenue of $42.29 billion. These totals would mark changes of +9.05% and +5.41%, respectively, from last year.
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 such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. MRK currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that MRK has a Forward P/E ratio of 18.3 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 15.05, so we one might conclude that MRK is trading at a premium comparatively.
Investors should also note that MRK has a PEG ratio of 2.16 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.03 as of yesterday's close.
The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 75, which puts it in the top 29% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.
Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.