Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MERCK & CO., INC.

(MRK)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
SummaryMost relevantAll NewsAnalyst Reco.Other languagesPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener Strategies

Merck : 2017 forecast reassuring; full-speed ahead with Keytruda

02/02/2017 | 12:20pm EDT
The logo of Merck is pictured in this illustration photograph  in Cardiff, California

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc (>> Merck & Co., Inc.), faced with patent expirations and increasing development costs for its high-profile Keytruda cancer immunotherapy, reassured investors on Thursday with a 2017 profit forecast roughly in line with Wall Street expectations.

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc (>> Merck & Co., Inc.), faced with patent expirations and increasing development costs for its high-profile Keytruda cancer immunotherapy, reassured investors on Thursday with a 2017 profit forecast roughly in line with Wall Street expectations.

Shares of Merck were up nearly 3 percent at $63.90 after the U.S. drugmaker also reported fourth-quarter earnings that matched analysts' expectations.

Despite acknowledging a need to hold down costs, Merck said it was charging ahead with Keytruda development, with about 430 studies ongoing in a wide variety of cancers and combinations with other therapies.

Merck forecast 2017 earnings of $3.72 to $3.87 per share, excluding special items. Analysts on average were expecting $3.85 per share. The company gave a revenue outlook of $38.6 billion to $40.1 billion, compared with analysts' expectations of $40.04 billion.

"We are actually implying EPS growth despite the headwinds of loss of exclusivity and (foreign exchange) and the other challenges that we face," Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier told analysts on a conference call.

Merck expects unfavorable foreign exchange rates to sap 2 percent from 2017 global sales.

Frazier said Merck was in the market for deals to augment its early to mid-stage drug development pipeline if the price is right. Such moves are not contingent on tax reform or changes to U.S. healthcare laws being discussed by President Trump and Congress, he added.

In 2017, Merck will face generic competition for cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin, antibiotic Cubicin and its Nasonex nasal spray in the United States and for Remicade, its big-selling arthritis drug, in Europe.

But the U.S. drugmaker is confident it can solidify its leading position for Keytruda in lung cancer, by far the largest oncology market, and that it has the potential to become a foundational therapy in other cancers as well.

Last summer Merck leapfrogged Bristol-Myers Squibb (>> Bristol-Myers Squibb Co) as the perceived leader in the market for potentially game-changing drugs that spur the immune system to fight cancer, when Keytruda extended survival among previously untreated lung cancer patients. Bristol's rival drug, Opdivo, failed to do so.

Keytruda is now approved as a first-option treatment for non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumor cells display a high level of the PD-L1 protein the drug targets, as well as for patients whose cancer has progressed after other treatments.

Merck said there has been a significant acceleration of PD-L1 testing, a clear indication of heightened interest in use of Keytruda in first-line lung cancer.

In May, Merck may also get U.S. approval for Keytruda with chemotherapy in first-line lung cancer, opening it up to many more potential patients.

Edward Jones healthcare analyst Ashtyn Evans forecast annual Keytruda sales would reach $7 billion by 2020.

She said there was relief that Merck's 2017 forecast was not lower "because they really need to put a significant amount of investment behind Keytruda."

Fourth-quarter Keytruda sales more than doubled from a year earlier to $483 million, with 40 percent coming from melanoma, its initial approval, and 30 percent from lung cancer.

Sales of diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet grew 4 percent to $1.5 billion despite intensifying competition.

(Additional reporting by Natalie Grover; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

By Bill Berkrot

Stocks treated in this article : Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Merck & Co., Inc.

ę Reuters 2017
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FULL SPEED INC. -0.26% 388 End-of-day quote.-9.35%
MERCK & CO., INC. -1.22% 75.48 Delayed Quote.-7.73%
All news about MERCK & CO., INC.
07/30MERCK : Goldman Sachs Adjusts Price Target for Merck to $104 From $102, Maintain..
MT
07/30MERCK : SVB Leerink Adjusts Price Target on Merck & Company to $101 From $99, Ma..
MT
07/29SECTOR UPDATE : Health Care Stocks Closing Slightly Higher
MT
07/29SECTOR UPDATE : Health Care Stocks Inching Higher This Afternoon
MT
07/29MERCK : weighed down by charges in Q2, but drug sales rebound
AQ
07/29MERCK : Announces Appointment of Cristal N. Downing as Chief Communications & Pu..
BU
07/29Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Appointment of Cristal N. Downing as Chief Commun..
CI
07/29MERCK : Reports Higher Second-Quarter Results But Mixed Against Street Views, Na..
MT
07/29SECTOR UPDATE : Health Care Stocks Cautiously Up Ahead of Thursday's Opening Bel..
MT
07/29Today on Wall Street: GDP growth misses estimates
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 46 932 M - -
Net income 2021 12 744 M - -
Net Debt 2021 12 127 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 17,1x
Yield 2021 3,42%
Capitalization 191 B 191 B -
EV / Sales 2021 4,33x
EV / Sales 2022 3,93x
Nbr of Employees 73 500
Free-Float 70,7%
Chart MERCK & CO., INC.
Duration : Period :
Merck & Co., Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MRK | US58933Y1055 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends MERCK & CO., INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishNeutralNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 25
Last Close Price 75,48 $
Average target price 94,45 $
Spread / Average Target 25,1%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Robert M. Davis President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Caroline A. Litchfield Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Kenneth C. Frazier Executive Chairman
Sandy Tremps Vice President-R&D IT CIO
Dave Williams Chief Information & Digital Officer
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capi. (M$)
MERCK & CO., INC.-7.73%191 120
JOHNSON & JOHNSON10.15%459 079
ROCHE HOLDING AG14.16%340 492
PFIZER, INC.22.77%255 703
ELI LILLY AND COMPANY55.45%232 701
NOVARTIS AG-0.20%224 638