The big pharma stocks are all reporting their first-quarter results, and Merck's (NYSE:MRK) beginning of 2014 was decidedly mixed. The company missed Wall Street expectations on the top line as revenue declined 4% thanks in part to generic competition, but adjusted earnings came in better than expected at $0.88 per share. Merck has a lot of rumors swirling around it right now, as it may be about to sell off two divisions and raise as much as $30 billion, but before any of these changes happen, investors should get a better grasp of Merck as it currently stands.

In this segment from Market Checkup, The Motley Fool's health care-focused investing show, analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass dig into Merck and its earnings report this quarter. Find out what really mattered in the big pharma's quarter, why shares soared 3%, and why Merck's R&D cutting will come back to haunt it. 

David Williamson owns shares of Merck. Michael Douglass and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.