2. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.80 (1.70) to $47.96 on average volume Thus far, 10.2 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.88-$48.64 after having opened the day at $47.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.16.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $142.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Merck a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet 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, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Merck Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

If you liked this article you might like

Allergan's Restasis Patent Transfer to Face Precedent-Setting Legal Battle

FDA Approves First 'Biosimilar' for Cancer Treatment

Amgen Builds on a Breakout

How I've Prepared for Hurricane Irma -- and a Market Pullback

How I'm Prepared for Irma -- and a Pullback