UPDATE: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Downgrades Merck to Neutral, Reiterates $45 PT
In a report published Friday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its rating on Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) to Neutral, and reiterated its $45.00 price target.
BofA Merrill Lynch noted, “With MRK shares up 14% this year, and with only modest upside potential to our $45 price objective, we are moving to Neutral. As we have been since our March 2011 launch, we remain more bullish than our peers on Major Pharma with 3 Buys and 1 Neutral...Our move to Neutral on MRK is not at all a ‘sell' call, as we remain constructive on management's strategy and track record of returning cash to shareholders...MRK recently stopped the odanacatib (novel oral treatment for osteoporosis) fracture outcomes trial early due to strong efficacy. We will likely see the results at a relevant conference in 2013. Anacetrapib, a CETP inhibitor that raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol, represents a huge but longer-term, riskier prospect.”
Merck & Co. closed on Thursday at $42.80.
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