For the fourth quarter, MRK beat analyst estimates for earnings by two pennies. Estimates were for earnings of $0.95 per share on revenues of $12.53 billion. Actual results came in at $0.97 per share on revenues of $12.29 billion.
The slight revenue miss didn’t make investors happy and that’s why shares are down about 1.6% today.
I don’t see the revenue miss as a reason to change my buy rating on the stock. Sales of Vytorin and Remicade were lower than expected, but margins are strong (the fifth straight quarter of growth) and the company has plans to seek approval for five more major drugs between now and 2013.
And, forward guidance for full-year results remain intact. MRK is a buy and is one of my favorites in healthcare.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) will report earnings after the close today. Look for my update on those results right here on our Daily Blog.
And if you haven’t yet read my Special Feature (Healthcare: One of the Best Sectors), please take a look today. It outlines six companies with my full buy and sell recommendations.