Merck Stock Went Down Even After the Company Reported Its Q4 Results

Merck Stock

Merck Stock (NYSE:MRK)

On Thursday, February 2nd, before to market opens, Merck (NYSE:MRK) plans to release financial results for the fourth quarter.

The average analyst forecast is for earnings per share of $1.54 (down 14.4% year-over-year), on top of revenues of $13.66 billion (up 1.0% year-over-year).

During the previous two years, Merck stock has outperformed expectations for earnings per share (EPS) 88% of the time and sales 75% of the time.

There have been 10 positive adjustments and 5 negative revisions to EPS estimates during the previous three months. A total of seven increases and four decreases have been made to revenue forecasts.

After reporting third-quarter earnings above expectations, the company’s shares increased by 1.35% on October 27th. The sales effect of the COVID-19 tablet Lagevrio was more than offset by the success of the blockbuster cancer medicine Keytruda, which drove revenue to $5.3 billion and represented an increase of around 20% year over year.

With a return of 44% in 2022, Merck was the top-performing major U.S. pharmaceutical company.

The Merck stock was one of six Wells Fargo recommended to investors as “high-conviction names” for the first quarter.

Bank of America raised its rating on Merck stock in January, citing the company’s optimistic outlook for further growth in 2022 despite its heavy dependence on Keytruda.

Keytruda’s patent protection is set to expire by the end of 2040. Still, Merck is apparently preparing an easier-to-use version of the drug.

In mRNA cancer vaccines, the business has made some important advancements. Using Keytruda in conjunction with the mRNA cancer vaccine, mRNA-4157/V940, developed by Moderna and Merck, the risk of recurrence or death from melanoma of the skin was reduced by 44% in patients.

Nonetheless, Keytruda’s January trial findings were mixed. Merck chose to suspend a phase 3 trial of a Keytruda combination therapy to treat prostate cancer after it failed to increase survival, even though the medicine accomplished the primary aim of late-stage research in biliary tract cancer.

Merck, however, predicted in the same month that the combination of its purchase of Imago Biosciences and licensing deal with Kelun Biotech would result in a GAAP and non-GAAP impact to its bottom line of $0.53. This was before the exclusion of certain R&D expenditures.

Goldman Sachs predicted in December 2022 that Merck and Pfizer will be the most active in biopharma transactions in 2023.

Antibody response to the Ebola vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and Merck was shown to persist in both children and adults throughout clinical trials.

Lynparza, developed by AstraZeneca and Merck, has been given permission for broader use in prostate cancer in the European Union.

Merck stock was quoted as saying that the company had discovered how a substance with carcinogenic potential had gotten into its best-selling diabetic medications and was prepared to fix the problem by the end of 2023.

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About the author: I'm a financial journalist with more than 1.5 years of experience. I have worked for different financial companies and covered stocks listed on ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. I have a degree in marketing from Bahria University Islamabad Campus (BUIC), Pakistan.