Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] is 10.91% higher this YTD. Is it still time to buy?


Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE: MRK] loss -2.50% on the last trading session, reaching $85.00 price per share at the time. The company report on June 13, 2022 that FDA Accepts Application for Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) as Adjuvant Therapy for Stage IB (≥4 centimeters)-IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Following Complete Surgical Resection.

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Acceptance based on results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-091 trial, the seventh positive pivotal study evaluating a KEYTRUDA-based regimen in earlier stages of cancer.

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a new supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) seeking approval for KEYTRUDA for the adjuvant treatment of patients with stage IB (≥4 centimeters), II or IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following complete surgical resection. The sBLA is based on data from the pivotal Phase 3 KEYNOTE-091 trial, also known as EORTC-1416-LCG/ETOP-8-15 – PEARLS, conducted in collaboration with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). The FDA has set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action, date of January 29, 2023, however, further data may be provided during the review process that may delay this date.

Merck & Co. Inc. represents 2.53 billion in outstanding shares, while the company has a total market value of $216.97 billion with the latest information. MRK stock price has been found in the range of $84.63 to $86.51.

If compared to the average trading volume of 11.44M shares, MRK reached a trading volume of 11951761 in the most recent trading day, which is why market watchdogs consider the stock to be active.

Here is what top equities market gurus are saying 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 $97.35 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 2.20. 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.

SVB Leerink have made an estimate for Merck & Co. Inc. shares, keeping their opinion on the stock as Outperform, with their previous recommendation back on June 06, 2022. While these analysts kept the previous recommendation, Morgan Stanley raised their target price to Equal-Weight. The new note on the price target was released on April 06, 2022, representing the official price target for Merck & Co. Inc. stock. Previously, the target price had yet another raise to $93, while Goldman analysts kept a Buy rating on MRK stock.

The Average True Range (ATR) for Merck & Co. Inc. is set at 1.84, with the Price to Sales ratio for MRK stock in the period of the last 12 months amounting to 4.02. The Price to Book ratio for the last quarter was 5.26, with the Price to Cash per share for the same quarter was set at 3.50. Price to Free Cash Flow for MRK in the course of the last twelve months was 35.74 with Quick ratio for the last quarter at 1.10.

Trading performance analysis for MRK stock

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] fell into the red zone at the end of the last week, falling into a negative trend and dropping by -5.39. With this latest performance, MRK shares dropped by -6.42% in over the last four-week period, additionally plugging by 17.05% over the last 6 months – not to mention a rise of 12.66% 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 31.76, with the RSI for the last a single of trading hit 21.35, and the three-weeks RSI is set at 39.06 for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]. The present Moving Average for the last 50 days of trading for this stock 88.51, while it was recorded at 88.03 for the last single week of trading, and 80.95 for the last 200 days.

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: A deeper dive into fundamental analysis

Operating Margin for any stock indicates how profitable investing would be, and Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] shares currently have an operating margin of +27.94 and a Gross Margin at +72.47. Merck & Co. Inc.’s Net Margin is presently recorded at +25.24.

Return on Equity for this stock inclined to 38.88, with Return on Assets sitting at 12.52.

Merck & Co. Inc.’s liquidity data is similarly interesting compelling, with a Quick Ratio of 1.10 and a Current Ratio set at 1.40.

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: An earnings per share (EPS) analysis

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 11.62%.

An analysis of insider ownership at Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]

There are presently around $161,314 million, or 75.20% of MRK stock, in the hands of institutional investors. The top three institutional holders of MRK stocks are: VANGUARD GROUP INC with ownership of 216,096,057, which is approximately 2.317% of the company’s market cap and around 0.10% of the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 204,122,526 shares of the stock with an approximate value of $17.8 billion in MRK stocks shares; and STATE STREET CORP, currently with $10.32 billion in MRK stock with ownership of nearly -0.292% of the company’s market capitalization.

Positions in Merck & Co. Inc. stocks held by institutional investors increased at the end of April and at the time of the April reporting period, where 1,598 institutional holders increased their position in Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE:MRK] by around 102,288,699 shares. Additionally, 1,131 investors decreased positions by around 105,543,714 shares, while 328 investors held positions by with 1,642,524,156 shares. The mentioned changes placed institutional holdings at 1,850,356,569 shares, according to the latest SEC report filing. MRK stock had 176 new institutional investments in for a total of 10,402,613 shares, while 103 institutional investors sold positions of 7,664,641 shares during the same period.