Merck & Co Inc Valuation – February 2018 $MRK

Company Profile (obtained from Marketwatch): Merck & Co., Inc. engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Alliances and Healthcare Services. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the company or through joint ventures. Its human health pharmaceutical products consist of therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. The Animal Health segment discovers, develops, manufactures and markets animal health products, including vaccines, which it sells to veterinarians, distributors and animal producers. The Alliances segment includes revenue from the company relationship with AstraZeneca LP. The Healthcare Services segment provides services and solutions that focus on engagement, health analytics and clinical services to improve the value of care delivered to patients. The company was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Kenilworth, NJ.

MRK Chart

MRK data by YCharts


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of MRK – February 2018

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $149,489,797,063 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.43 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end -19.12% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 23.13 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 3.91 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 1.43 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 2.58 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Fail


Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $2.37
MG Growth Estimate -0.39%
MG Value $18.30
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $34.40
MG Value based on 0% Growth $20.17
Market Implied Growth Rate 7.31%
Current Price $54.87
% of Intrinsic Value 299.87%

Merck & Co., Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets, and the lack of earnings growth over the last five years. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $2.44 in 2014 to an estimated $2.37 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 7.31% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Merck & Co., Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company pays a dividend of $1.89 per share, for a yield of 3.4%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 23.13, which was below the industry average of 28.67, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-9.35.

Merck & Co., Inc. scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$9.35
Graham Number $0.00
PEmg 23.13
Current Ratio 1.43
PB Ratio 3.91
Current Dividend $1.89
Dividend Yield 3.44%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 7

Useful Links:

ModernGraham tagged articles Morningstar
Google Finance MSN Money
Yahoo Finance Seeking Alpha
GuruFocus SEC Filings

Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 9/1/2017
Total Current Assets $27,919,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $19,467,000,000
Long-Term Debt $21,838,000,000
Total Assets $91,676,000,000
Intangible Assets $33,478,000,000
Total Liabilities $53,428,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 2,727,000,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.09
Dec2017 $0.93
Dec2016 $1.41
Dec2015 $1.56
Dec2014 $4.07
Dec2013 $1.47
Dec2012 $2.00
Dec2011 $2.02
Dec2010 $0.28
Dec2009 $5.65
Dec2008 $3.63
Dec2007 -$1.04
Dec2006 $2.03
Dec2005 $2.10
Dec2004 $2.62
Dec2003 $2.97
Dec2002 $3.14
Dec2001 $3.14
Dec2000 $2.90
Dec1999 $2.45
Dec1998 $2.15

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.37
Dec2017 $1.64
Dec2016 $2.03
Dec2015 $2.30
Dec2014 $2.44
Dec2013 $1.84
Dec2012 $2.26
Dec2011 $2.29
Dec2010 $2.32
Dec2009 $3.05
Dec2008 $1.79
Dec2007 $1.16
Dec2006 $2.37
Dec2005 $2.62
Dec2004 $2.91
Dec2003 $3.01
Dec2002 $2.93

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Merck & Co Inc Valuation – August 2016 $MRK
5 Overvalued Dow Components – July 2016
Merck & Co Inc Valuation – March 2016 $MRK
Merck & Co Valuation – November 2015 Update $MRK
5 Most Overvalued Dow Components – July 2015

Other ModernGraham posts about related companies

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co Valuation – September 2017 $BMY
Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $MNTA
Depomed Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $DEPO
Endo International PLC Valuation – July 2017 $ENDP
Biogen Inc Valuation – July 2017 $BIIB
Mylan NV Valuation – March 2017 $MYL
Amgen Inc Valuation – March 2017 $AMGN
Celgene Corporation Valuation – March 2017 $CELG
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $LGND
Pfizer Inc Valuation – March 2017 $PFE


The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.