Merck & (MRK) versus Its Peers Financial Comparison

Merck & (NYSE: MRK) is one of 114 publicly-traded companies in the “Pharmaceuticals” industry, but how does it compare to its competitors? We will compare Merck & to related businesses based on the strength of its valuation, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Merck & 17.14% 26.02% 11.15%
Merck & Competitors -3,036.76% -54.42% -9.10%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Merck & and its competitors, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Merck & 1 7 10 0 2.50
Merck & Competitors 806 3577 6174 156 2.53

Merck & currently has a consensus target price of $69.64, indicating a potential upside of 9.19%. As a group, “Pharmaceuticals” companies have a potential upside of 22.26%. Given Merck &’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Merck & has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.


Merck & pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Merck & pays out 76.1% 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 2.4% and pay out 70.6% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Merck & has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Merck & has a beta of 0.8, meaning that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Merck &’s competitors have a beta of 0.88, meaning that their average stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Merck & and its competitors top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Merck & $40.02 billion $15.45 billion 25.82
Merck & Competitors $8.11 billion $2.65 billion 0.29

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

Insider & 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. 0.1% of Merck & shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 12.1% 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 is poised for long-term growth.


Merck & beats its competitors on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Merck &

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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