Merck and Co.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Merck and Co. (MRK) is one of the oldest and largest pharmaceutical companies by revenue. It does business as Merck Sharp & Dohme outside the United States and Canada. The company deals with human and animal health products.

A Look at Merck and Co.’s Performance in 2Q17

Stock price performance

Merck and Co.’s stock price has remained nearly flat in 2Q17. However, the stock price had risen ~7.2% year-to-date as of July 7, 2017.

Analysts’ recommendations

Wall Street analysts estimate that the stock has the potential to return ~10.0% over the next 12 months. Analysts’ recommendations show a 12-month targeted price of $69.40 per share, compared with $63.10 per share on July 6, 2017.

Of the 22 analysts tracking Merck and Co. stock, 63.6% recommend “buy,” 31.8% recommend “hold,” and one analyst has recommended “sell.” The consensus rating for Merck and Co. stands at 2.3, which represents a moderate “buy” for long-term growth investors.

Analysts’ revenue estimates

Merck’s revenue is mainly driven by key pharmaceutical products Gardasil, Keytruda, and ProQuad/Varivax, and animal health products.

Wall Street analysts expect revenue of $9.7 billion in 2Q17, a 1.6% fall from 2Q16, and earnings per share of $0.87. To divest company-specific risk, investors could consider the iShares Vanguard Healthcare ETF (VHT), which has a 5.1% exposure to Merck and Co., a 3.2% exposure to AbbVie (ABBV), a 2.8% exposure to Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and a 2.7% exposure to Allergan (AGN).

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