Merck (MRK) Stock Trading Lower Since Q4 Earnings Report

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) history dates back to 1891 when 23 years old George Merck established the company to supply fine chemicals in New York City and adjacent areas. Today, the company develops a range of famous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines such as Januvia for Type 2 diabetes, NuvaRing for birth control, and Keytruda for cancer.

The Kenilworth, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant recently announced mixed financial results for the fourth quarter. The company reported a loss of $2.09 billion, or 83 cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, as compared to earnings of $2.36 billion, or 92 cents per share in the comparable period of 2019. On an adjusted basis, profit rose to $1.32 per share, as compared to the consensus forecast of $1.38 per share.

Revenue rose 5 percent on a year-over-year basis to $12.51 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $12.67 billion. Keytruda made significant contributions to the total revenue, as its global sales grew 28 percent to $3.99 billion in the quarter.

Speaking on the results, CEO Kenneth Frazier said, “Despite extraordinary challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Merck achieved solid growth and made meaningful progress in our pipeline in 2020. We remain focused on our science-led strategy and are confident that this approach will continue to deliver value to patients and shareholders.”

Merck also offered an upbeat outlook for 2021. It expects to report an adjusted profit in the range of $6.48 per share to $6.68 per share for the current fiscal year, above the consensus forecast of $51.7 billion.

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Nevertheless, Merck (MRK) shares have been trading lower since the company released its fourth-quarter results. Overall, MRK shares have lost nearly 12 percent of their value over the past year.