Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)
Merck is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings before the open of trade on Tuesday. The consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters is for the drug maker to post earnings of 75 cents a share, excluding onetime items, down from 88 cents a share in the year ago period. Revenue is expected to come in at $9.06 billion, also down from $10.26 billion in the same period last year.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s sales have been hurt by rising competition from generics. Investors will closely watch for any fresh updates on its top selling drug, Januvia, whose demand has been steadily declining amidst cardio vascular safety concerns. Also in focus will be its anti-inflammatory treatment Remicade, whose sales are likely to decline this quarter following the recent availability of biosimilars.
Merck is also locked in a tight race with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) for immune-boosting cancer drugs. First quarter numbers should provide fresh clues on how Merck’s Keytruda is faring against Bristol’s competing drug, Opdivo.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is also planning to apply for U.S. regulatory approval for its treatment of hepatitis C. But rivals Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)’s hepatitis C products have been in the market for several months. The conference call should shed more light on how the company plans to go ahead with its marketing strategy to overcome that head start from rivals.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)
Wall Street is eagerly awaiting Pfizer’s quarterly numbers to see how the drug-maker is coping with a depleting pipeline of products. The company, which was hit hard by the loss of exclusivity of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, is now preparing to lose its rights on erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and arthritis treatment Celebrex.
Most analysts expect profit and revenue to decline from a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet project Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) to report first quarter adjusted earnings of 49 cents a share; 6 cents below last year’s figure of 55 cent a share. Sales should fall about 5 percent from the year-ago period to $10.7 billion.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has been trying to offset the fall in revenue from expired drugs by snapping up other drug makers, or portions of their businesses. The company’s announcement earlier this year that it would acquire injectable drug-maker Hospira, Inc. (NYSE:HSP) was one such step intended to bolster Pfizer’s established businesses.
Despite concerns over a product line that is fast depleting due to patent expirations, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s stock keeps climbing. The stock is currently hovering between $34 and $35 a share, which is close to its 10-year high.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY)
As Bristol-Myers Squib gets ready to report its first quarter numbers on Tuesday, Wall Street is filled with optimism. Analysts following the stock are expecting the company to record a profit of 50 cents a share, up from 46 cents in the year ago quarter. The enthusiasm on the Street is evident from the fact that the past three months has seen the consensus estimate jump from 47 cents a share. For the full year, earnings should come in at $1.71 a share.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY)’s quarterly revenue should stay flat at $3.80 billion, compared to $3.81 billion a year earlier. The three-quarter streak of falling sales was snapped by growth in the fourth quarter. For fiscal year, revenue is forecast to come in at $15.21 billion.
The stock is currently trading at $65, and a majority of analysts (60%) rate Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) as a buy.