Merck The pharmaceutical company last week reiterated its 2012 fiscal-year earnings guidance of between $3.75 and $3.85 a share. "We see news flow for Merck accelerating in late 2012/early 2013 with several phase III readouts including odanacatib (osteoporosis), suvorexant (insomnia), Tredaptive (HPS2-THRIVE outcomes study), and extension data from the first phase III trial for anacetrapib (HDL)," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "From an R&D budget standpoint, while Merck has a number of large outcomes studies currently running, the company is implementing a more disciplined approach to R&D that we believe could result in a more focused pipeline and lower expense levels over time." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.5% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. Merck has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.43, which shows the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth was about the same as the previous year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.65. The stock closed Friday at $37.60 and has ticked down 10 cents year to date.