Merck & Co Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Friday, February 1, 2013.  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 Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 81 cents per share, a decline of 16.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 82 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 1.1% compared to last year’s $3.81.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 2 cents, coming in at net income of 95 cents a share versus the estimate of profit of 93 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 6.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $11.47 billion.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 2.2% to $1.73 billion (56 cents a share) from $1.69 billion (55 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 4.4% to $11.49 billion from $12.02 billion.

Here’s how Merck & Co traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

Analyst Ratings: With 11 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and six rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to get back on the right track after last quarter’s drop snapped a string of revenue increases. Revenue rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 1.3% in the first quarter and 1.3%in the second quarter before dropping in the third quarter.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 2.32 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands.

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