Merck Moves Lower In Spite Of Earnings Beat

This morning before the New York markets opened Merck (MRK) reported earnings of $1.05 a share, ahead of the $1.00 a share forecast by Wall Street analysts. Earnings were up 19.3% from the first quarter of 2017. Revenue grew 6% to $10 billion. That narrowly missed the Wall Street consensus of $10.09 billion.

In the 8 a.m. conference call management said Wall Street under appreciates the company’s growth prospects. The Wall Street consensus is looking for just 3% compounded annual growth in revenue through 2022. Management, however, did not give any forward guidance beyond that.

Continuing the pattern of this earnings season, Merck shares sold off on the good news with the stock down 1.51% as of the close in New York.

The company delivered especially good news for Keytruda, the company’s blockbuster immuno-oncology drug. Sales of Keytruda grew 151% to $1.46 billion. That was about 6% ahead of projections. Merck’s diabetes franchise reported sales growth of 7% to $1.4 billion, again ahead of consensus.

I added the stock to my Dividend Portfolio on Monday. The stock yields 3.22%.