Merck Beats Analyst Estimates on EPS

Merck (NYS: MRK) reported earnings on Feb. 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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.

Revenue details
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.

EPS details
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.

Margin details
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.

Looking ahead
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.

Investor sentiment
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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At the time thisarticle was published 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 ofMotley 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.

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