Buy Recommendation Reiterated For Merck & Co Inc

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Merck (NYSE: MRK) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MRK's share price has jumped by 33.90%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • MERCK & CO's earnings per share declined by 13.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MERCK & CO reported lower earnings of $1.46 versus $2.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.44 versus $1.46).
  • MRK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. 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 significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income has decreased by 13.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $907.00 million to $781.00 million.

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 $162.0 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Merck Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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