The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Merck missed slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased slightly and GAAP earnings per share increased.
Gross margins expanded, operating margins dropped, net margins improved.
Merck tallied revenue of $12.29 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated net sales of $12.53 billion. Sales were 1.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $12.09 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.97. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.95 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were $0.49 for Q4 against -$0.16 per share for the prior-year quarter.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 66.0%, 270 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 16.2%, 130 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 12.3%, 1,670 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $11.92 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.02.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $47.53 billion.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 2,718 members rating the stock outperform, and 208 members rating it underperform. Among 762 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 726 give Merck a green thumbs-up, and 36 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Merck is outperform, with an average price target of $40.33.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.