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Merck (MRK) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Merck (MRK) closed the most recent trading day at $72.35, moving +0.19% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.04%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.26%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.48%.

Coming into today, shares of the pharmaceutical company had gained 2.02% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 3.8%, while the S&P 500 lost 4.53%.

MRK will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be October 25, 2018. In that report, analysts expect MRK to post earnings of $1.15 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 3.6%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $10.93 billion, up 5.88% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.28 per share and revenue of $42.41 billion. These totals would mark changes of +7.54% and +5.69%, respectively, from last year.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for MRK should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.2% higher. MRK is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, MRK is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 16.88. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 16.02, so we one might conclude that MRK is trading at a premium comparatively.

We can also see that MRK currently has a PEG ratio of 2.23. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. Large Cap Pharmaceuticals stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 2.01 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 63, putting it in the top 25% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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