Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Merck (NYSE:MRK) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- MERCK & CO's earnings per share declined by 6.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MERCK & CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.16 versus $2.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.67 versus $2.16).
- The gross profit margin for MERCK & CO is rather high; currently it is at 64.90%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.92% trails the industry average.
- MRK, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Pharmaceuticals industry average. The net income has decreased by 7.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,512.00 million to $1,400.00 million.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE
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