CFRA, an independent research provider, has provided MT Newswires with the following research alert. Analysts at CFRA have summarized their opinion as follows:
We maintain our 12-month target price at $124, 14.8x our 2024 EPS, a discount to MRK’s 10-year historical forward P/E average. We increase our 2023 EPS estimate to $3.17 from $2.96 and retain 2024’s at $8.39. MRK reported a Q3 EPS of $2.13 vs. $1.85 (+15% Y/Y), $0.18 above the S&P Capital IQ consensus and $0.21 above our estimate. Q3 revenues of $16B increased by 7% Y/Y, a remarkable $689M above the consensus estimate and $832M above our forecast. This was driven by much higher-than-anticipated Lagevrio sales growth, the antiviral used to treat Covid-19 (+47% Y/Y, $640M), and strong Keytruda (the blockbuster oncology drug) sales performance (+17% Y/Y, $6.3B). The Animal Health segment returned to growth this quarter (+2% Y/Y, 9% of total sales), driven by the 7% Y/Y growth in livestock revenue, offsetting the 4% decline in companion animal. MRK increased its revenue guidance range for 2023 one more time to $60.2B-$59.6B vs. $58.6B-$59.6B earlier. We now expect MRK sales to be up 1.5% Y/Y vs. flat earlier.