Merck (MRK - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $75.43, moving -1.1% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.7% gain on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.42%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.26%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the pharmaceutical company had lost 2.68% over the past month. This has was narrower than the Medical sector's loss of 6.76% and the S&P 500's loss of 6.13% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from MRK as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 1, 2019. On that day, MRK is projected to report earnings of $1.04 per share, which would represent 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.
Any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. 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. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.14% higher. MRK currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Looking at its valuation, MRK is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 16.16. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 14.41.
Also, we should mention that MRK has a PEG ratio of 1.9. 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. Large Cap Pharmaceuticals stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.9 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 106, putting it in the top 42% 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.