Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Merck

(

MRK

) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Merck as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MRK has 12x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 8.65 mentions/day.
  • MRK has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $638.7 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on MRK:

Merck & Co., Inc. provides health care solutions worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 3.6%. MRK has a PE ratio of 14. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Merck has been 10.5 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Merck has a market cap of $140.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. The stock has a beta of 0.76 and a short float of 0.8% with 2.34 days to cover. Shares are down 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Merck as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income increased by 104.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $895.00 million to $1,826.00 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.59, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.34, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, MERCK & CO's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for MERCK & CO is currently very high, coming in at 78.75%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, MRK's net profit margin of 18.12% significantly trails the industry average.

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