With a return of over 44% this year, Merck (NYSE:MRK) is the best-performing large US pharmaceutical business of 2022.
The producer of the popular cancer medication Keytruda and HPV vaccine Gardasil received a boost from the company’s strong earnings reports, and Merck stock has increased by 44% this year and is trading at a record high level. It made billions of dollars with the Covid-19 medication Lagevrio, and China this week licensed the antiviral for use in emergency situations.
Merck Stock Consensus
According to Barclays analyst Carter Gould, who has an overweight rating on the company, “Merck really grew from strength to strength throughout the course of 2022,”
A major development for Merck (MRK) in 2022 was its recent $1.35 billion tender offer for Imago BioSciences (IMGO) in early December. The corporation was also said to be close to purchasing Seagen (SGEN) for almost $40 billion, although the transaction has not yet taken place. In the first three quarters of the year, EPS beats also benefited Merck (NYSE:MRK).
Pharma Stocks Outlook
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) had the second-best return of the year, with a year-to-date return of 34%. The company’s approval of the diabetes drug Mounjaro (tirzepatide) in May was arguably the largest development. When the medication receives a new indication as a weight-loss medicine, which Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is pursuing, sales of Mounjaro are expected to soar.
With a return of about 19%, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) was the third-best performer of the group. The year 2023 could be difficult for the business since, in the middle of the year, Humira (adalimumab), its best-selling medication, will be up against biosimilar competition.
With a return of about 15%, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) also had a strong 2022. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has only increased by 3% over the past year.
The weakest performer was Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which had a 10% decline in 2022. Although the company’s first three-quarters of earnings were better than expected, Paxlovid, an antiviral drug, and the COVID-19 vaccine have seen diminishing sales.
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