Merck & Co., Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, April 27, 2012. Merck is a global research-driven company that develops and manufactures a range of innovative pharmaceutical products to improve human and animal health.

Merck & Co., Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 97 cents per share, a rise of 5.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.03. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 97 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 0.8% compared to last year’s $3.80.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 2 cents, coming in at profit of 97 cents per share against an estimate of net income of. The company also topped expectations in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 1.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $11.79 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company swung to a profit of $1.51 billion (49 cents a share) from a loss of $531.7 million (16 cents) a year earlier, beating analyst estimates. Revenue rose 1.7% to $12.29 billion from $12.09 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 1.4% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 7.1% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 8.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 24, 2012 and April 23, 2012, the stock price had risen 49 cents (1.3%), from $37.78 to $38.27. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 25, 2011 and May 4, 2011, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 6.5% (+$2.13) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for 11 straight days, dropping 12.9% (-$4.51) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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