Head to Head Comparison: Merck & (MRK) and The Competition

Merck & (NYSE: MRK) is one of 112 publicly-traded companies in the “Pharmaceuticals” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its rivals? We will compare Merck & to similar companies based on the strength of its valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Merck & and its rivals revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
Merck & $39.81 billion $3.92 billion 33.57
Merck & Competitors $8.39 billion $1.12 billion 49.34

Merck & has higher revenue and earnings than its rivals. Merck & is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.


Merck & pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Merck & pays out 112.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Pharmaceuticals” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.5% and pay out 65.1% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Merck & has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.


This table compares Merck & and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Merck & 11.60% 26.82% 11.31%
Merck & Competitors -2,902.57% -69.29% -9.41%

Volatility and Risk

Merck & has a beta of 0.78, indicating that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Merck &’s rivals have a beta of 1.03, indicating that their average share price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Merck & and its rivals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Merck & 1 10 7 0 2.33
Merck & Competitors 844 3746 6738 184 2.54

Merck & presently has a consensus target price of $66.85, indicating a potential upside of 19.24%. As a group, “Pharmaceuticals” companies have a potential upside of 34.75%. Given Merck &’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Merck & has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

72.9% of Merck & shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 43.7% of shares of all “Pharmaceuticals” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Merck & shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 11.9% of shares of all “Pharmaceuticals” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Merck & rivals beat Merck & on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

Merck & Company Profile

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures. Human health pharmaceutical products consist of therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. The Company sells its human health pharmaceutical products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and managed healthcare providers, such as health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and other institutions. Vaccine products consist of preventive pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines, primarily administered at physician offices.

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