Merck & Co swings to £1.53 billion of net loss in the fourth quarter.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) published its earnings report for the fiscal fourth quarter on Thursday that came in weaker than what analysts had anticipated. The company, however, gave upbeat guidance for the full financial year on Thursday.

Merck & Co. shares tanked roughly 1.5% on market open on Thursday. The stock is now trading at £55.81 per share after recovering from £48.61 per share in March 2020. Learn more about how do people make money on the stock market.

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Merck’s Q4 financial results versus analysts’ estimates

Merck & Co. said that it concluded the fourth quarter with £1.53 billion of net loss that translates to 60.76 pence per share. In the comparable quarter of last year, it had recorded £1.73 billion of net income or 67.35 pence per share.

Adjusted for one-time items, the pharmaceutical firm earned 97 pence per share in Q4 versus the year-ago figure of 85 pence per share. Merck said that it generated £9.16 billion of sales in the recent quarter that represent a 5% annualised growth.

According to FactSet, experts had forecast the company to record £9.28 billion of revenue in the recent quarter. Their estimate for adjusted per-share earnings stood at a higher £1.01. In separate news from the United States, Biogen Inc. also reported its quarterly financial results earlier this week.

Merck said that its Keytruda sales in the fourth quarter saw a 28% annualised growth to £2.92 billion versus £2.83 billion expected. The American multinational valued the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic on its quarterly pharmaceutical revenue at roughly £292.83 million.

Merck names Robert M. Davis as the next CEO

For fiscal 2021, the Kenilworth-based company now forecasts its adjusted per-share earnings to fall in the range of £4.74 to £4.89. Merck estimates up to £39.39 billion of revenue for the full financial year. FactSet Consensus, on the other hand, for its revenue and adjusted EPS currently stands at £37.85 billion and £4.61, respectively.

Merck named Robert M. Davis as its next Chief Executive on Thursday as the current CEO, Kenneth Frazier, expressed plans of retirement. Davis is currently serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Merck & Co. performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of more than 10%. At the time of writing, it is valued at £141 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 16.84.

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