Sanford C. Bernstein Downgrades Merck & Co to Market Perform (MRK)
Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have a $50.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $53.00. Sanford C. Bernstein’s target price indicates a potential upside of 5.73% from the stock’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “We are downgrading Merck to Market-Perform from Outperform. From a pure financial perspective, 2013 is not likely going to be a great year – revenues and EPS should be down vs 2012 as prior generic expiries continue to wash through the model. Furthermore, following a string of pipeline setbacks and now the lowering of 2013 guidance twice since the start of the year, a ‘crisis in confidence’ among investors has been building. While expectations and valuation are now lower, many investors continue to view MRK as a good R&D company because of its historic good legacy (this has been part of our original investment case too). Accordingly, pipeline execution will be critical to the story, but in the nearer-term it is hard to identify many meaningful pipeline catalysts.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Jefferies Group downgraded shares of Merck & Co from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have a $50.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $53.00. Separately, analysts at Credit Suisse initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co in a research note to investors on Tuesday, October 8th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $49.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at TheStreet reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co in a research note to investors on Tuesday, October 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.03.
Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.33% on Monday, hitting $46.66. The stock had a trading volume of 10,868,397 shares. Merck & Co has a one year low of $40.02 and a one year high of $50.16. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $47.75 and a 200-day moving average of $47.30. The company has a market cap of $136.5 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.32.
Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $11.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.22 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Co will post $3.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co, Inc (NYSE:MRK) is a global health care company that delivers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures.
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