Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One More Analyst Moves Merck's Near Term Target Over $60: SunTrust -- Buy, At $62

Perhaps looking to get their "bump" out ahead of Merck's year end earnings call Wednesday morning, SunTrust has upped Merck to "Buy," with a 12 month price target of $62. That's a high-water mark among major analysts -- if memory serves. I now count three major analysts with targets north of $60, on Merck -- the most recent previous one to go north of $59 was Morgan Stanley, as of last Monday morning. The consensus average, however, is a more modest $54.36 -- or only about 4 per cent over last night's NYSE closing bell.

Here at our shop, we do not expect a world-beating finish to Merck's fiscal year 2013 -- just generally in-line at the EPS line, and overall sales perhaps a little light -- even before currencies steal around 2.5 percent from global reported consolidated sales revenue, for the year. So, now we wait for Wednesday morning. Here's the operative Zolmax press bit:

. . . .Merck & Co was upgraded by stock analysts at SunTrust from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $62.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust’s price target points to a potential upside of 19.05% from the company’s current price. . . .

One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.36. . . .

Separately -- and mostly just to keep a complete record, here -- Merck yesterday received Canadian regulatory clearance to sell GrasstekTM short ragweed sublinguals, but that Canadian revenue will never be material to overall Merck -- so I'll only footnote it, here. Be excellent to one another (as the snow is falling in big fat flakes, again, here now. . . whew!).

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