Why Merck & Co. (MRK) Stock Is Up In Pre-Market Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) are up 1.08% to $57.29 in pre-market trade on Tuesday after the company released its first quarter 2014 earnings report.

The global health care company reported net income was $1.70 billion, or 57 cents per share during the first quarter 2014, compared to the $1.59 billion, or 52 cents per share reported during the same quarter in 2013.

Merck earned 88 cents per share, excluding special items beating  analysts expectations of 79 cents per share, according to Thompson Reuters.

Global revenue for the U.S. drug maker decreased 4% to $10.26 billion during the first quarter 2014, compared to the $10.67 billion reported during first quarter 2013.

The company said the decrease in revenue was due to the increase in generic competition for its allergy and asthma medication, Singular.

Wall Street expected the company to report revenue of $10.44 billion, Thomson Reuters reported.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates MERCK & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MERCK & CO (MRK) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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."

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