Merck Tops On Q4 Earnings & Sales, Stock Up

New Jersey-based Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK - Free Report) is a global research-driven pharmaceutical products company. Well known products in Merck’s portfolio include Remicade, Nasonex, Simponi, Vytorin and Zetia, Januvia and Janumet, Isentress, Emend, Keytruda, Cozaar/Hyzaar, Zocor, ProQuad, Gardasil, Zostavax and others.

However, like many of its peers, Merck is facing headwinds in the form of generic competition for several key products.

Merck’s performance has been pretty impressive, with the company exceeding earnings expectations in all the trailing four quarters. The average positive earnings surprise over the last four quarters is 3.96%. Earnings estimates have declined slightly over the past 60 days.

Currently, Merck has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), but that could definitely change following the company’s earnings report which was just released. We have highlighted some of the key stats from this just-revealed announcement below:

Earnings Beat: Merck surpassed earnings expectations. The company reported EPS of $1.04 while our consensus called for EPS of $1.03. Earnings rose 6% year over year (up 11% excluding the impact of currency)

Revenues Beat: Revenues in the reported quarter also came above expectations. Merck posted revenues of $11 billion also above our consensus estimate of $10.93 billion.

Key Stats: The Pharmaceutical segment generated revenues of $9.83 billion, up 6% (up 8% excluding Fx impact) year over year as higher sales in oncology and vaccines were offset by lower sales in virology.

Keytruda, the largest product in Merck’s portfolio, brought sales of $2.15 billion in the quarter, up around 14% sequentially and 66% year over year.

2019 Outlook: Merck issued decent earnings and sales guidance for 2019.

Merck expects revenues to be in the range of $43.2 billion – $44.7 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stood at $44.24 billion. Adjusted earnings are expected to be in the range of $4.57–$4.72. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stood at $4.64 per share. Both revenue and adjusted earnings guidance include approximately 1% negative impact from currency fluctuation.

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