Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] is -0.01% lower this YTD. Is it still time to buy?

Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE: MRK] slipped around -0.13 points on Friday, while shares priced at $77.99 at the close of the session, down -0.17%. The company report on July 6, 2021 that FDA Approves Expanded Indication for Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in Locally Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cSCC).

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KEYTRUDA Is Now Approved for the Treatment of Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic or Locally Advanced cSCC That Is Not Curable by Surgery or Radiation.

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expanded label for KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) that is not curable by surgery or radiation. This approval is based on data from the second interim analysis of the Phase 2 KEYNOTE-629 trial, in which KEYTRUDA demonstrated an objective response rate (ORR) of 50% (95% CI, 36-64) (n=54), including a complete response rate of 17% and a partial response rate of 33% in the cohort of patients with locally advanced disease. Among the 27 responding patients, 81% had a duration of response (DOR) of six months or longer, and 37% had a DOR of 12 months or longer. In June 2020, KEYTRUDA was granted its first indication in cSCC, as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic disease that is not curable by surgery or radiation.

Merck & Co. Inc. stock is now -0.01% down from its year-to-date (YTD) trading value. MRK Stock saw the intraday high of $78.69 and lowest of $77.94 per share. The company’s 52-week high price is 83.72, which means current price is +8.75% above from all time high which was touched on 01/11/21.

Compared to the average trading volume of 12.54M shares, MRK reached a trading volume of 5996092 in the most recent trading day, which is why market watchdogs consider the stock to be active.

What do top market gurus say about Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]?

Based on careful and fact-backed analyses by Wall Street experts, the current consensus on the target price for MRK shares is $93.02 per share. Analysis on target price and performance of stocks is usually carefully studied by market experts, and the current Wall Street consensus on MRK stock is a recommendation set at 2.10. This rating represents a strong Buy recommendation, on the scale from 1 to 5, where 5 would mean strong sell, 4 represents Sell, 3 is Hold, and 2 indicates Buy.

Argus have made an estimate for Merck & Co. Inc. shares, keeping their opinion on the stock as Hold, with their previous recommendation back on May 20, 2021. While these analysts kept the previous recommendation, RBC Capital Mkts raised their target price to Sector Perform. The new note on the price target was released on April 07, 2021, representing the official price target for Merck & Co. Inc. stock. Previously, the target price had yet another raise to $95, while Bernstein analysts kept a Outperform rating on MRK stock.

The Average True Range (ATR) for Merck & Co. Inc. is set at 1.07, with the Price to Sales ratio for MRK stock in the period of the last 12 months amounting to 4.12. The Price to Book ratio for the last quarter was 7.32. Price to Free Cash Flow for MRK in the course of the last twelve months was 1009.21 with Quick ratio for the last quarter at 0.80.

How has MRK stock performed recently?

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] fell into the red zone at the end of the last week, falling into a negative trend and dropping by 0.00. With this latest performance, MRK shares gained by 5.33% in over the last four-week period, additionally sinking by -2.65% over the last 6 months – not to mention a rise of 6.65% in the past year of trading.

Overbought and oversold stocks can be easily traced with the Relative Strength Index (RSI), where an RSI result of over 70 would be overbought, and any rate below 30 would indicate oversold conditions. An RSI rate of 50 would represent a neutral market momentum. The current RSI for MRK stock in for the last two-week period is set at 59.79, with the RSI for the last a single of trading hit 57.54, and the three-weeks RSI is set at 54.47 for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]. The present Moving Average for the last 50 days of trading for this stock 76.87, while it was recorded at 78.28 for the last single week of trading, and 78.25 for the last 200 days.

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: Deeper insight into the fundamentals

Operating Margin for any stock indicates how profitable investing would be, and Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] shares currently have an operating margin of +26.16 and a Gross Margin at +73.77. Merck & Co. Inc.’s Net Margin is presently recorded at +14.72.

Return on Total Capital for MRK is now 22.39, given the latest momentum, and Return on Invested Capital for the company is 13.93. Return on Equity for this stock inclined to 27.59, with Return on Assets sitting at 8.03. When it comes to the capital structure of this company, Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] has a Total Debt to Total Equity ratio set at 132.14. Additionally, MRK Total Debt to Total Capital is recorded at 56.92, with Total Debt to Total Assets ending up at 36.53. Long-Term Debt to Equity for the company is recorded at 105.55, with the Long-Term Debt to Total Capital now at 45.47.

Reflecting on the efficiency of the workforce at the company, Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] managed to generate an average of $95,500 per employee. Receivables Turnover for the company is 6.56 with a Total Asset Turnover recorded at a value of 0.55.Merck & Co. Inc.’s liquidity data is similarly interesting compelling, with a Quick Ratio of 0.80 and a Current Ratio set at 1.00.

Earnings analysis for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]

The progress of the company may be observed through the prism of EPS growth rate, while Wall Street analysts are focusing on predicting the 5-year EPS growth rate for MRK. When it comes to the mentioned value, analysts are expecting to see the 5-year EPS growth rate for Merck & Co. Inc. go to 10.82%.

Insider trade positions for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]

There are presently around $144,844 million, or 75.10% of MRK stock, in the hands of institutional investors. The top three institutional holders of MRK stocks are: VANGUARD GROUP INC with ownership of 225,205,929, which is approximately 8.059% of the company’s market cap and around 0.10% of the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 193,928,410 shares of the stock with an approximate value of $15.12 billion in MRK stocks shares; and STATE STREET CORP, currently with $8.79 billion in MRK stock with ownership of nearly -1.282% of the company’s market capitalization.

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Positions in Merck & Co. Inc. stocks held by institutional investors increased at the end of July and at the time of the July reporting period, where 1,399 institutional holders increased their position in Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE:MRK] by around 92,968,948 shares. Additionally, 1,148 investors decreased positions by around 106,258,150 shares, while 272 investors held positions by with 1,657,982,377 shares. The mentioned changes placed institutional holdings at 1,857,209,475 shares, according to the latest SEC report filing. MRK stock had 140 new institutional investments in for a total of 6,308,831 shares, while 138 institutional investors sold positions of 6,714,180 shares during the same period.

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