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Boosted By Keytruda, Citi Upgrades Merck To Buy For The First Time Ever

Boosted By Keytruda, Citi Upgrades Merck To Buy For The First Time Ever
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Analysts at Citi hold a bullish rating on Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

The firm's Andrew Baum upgraded Merck's stock from Neutral to Buy "for the first time," with a price target boosted from $65 to $72.

The new bullish stance stems from increased conviction of Merck's lung cancer treatment called Keytruda, Baum explained in his note. Looking forward to 2025, sales of Keytruda are projected to be $15 billion which marks an increase from the analyst's prior estimate of $9 billion. In addition, initial PDx market estimates of $35 billion to at least $50 billion.

The analyst also attributed his bullish outlook to Merk's share of the Lynparza joint venture with AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN).

In conjunction with the Merck upgrade, Baum also reiterated a "long-standing Buy" on AstraZeneca while adding the name to Citi's "Focus List." In addition, the analyst downgraded Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) to Neutral.

The analyst prefers Buy-rated Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY) and Merck among U.S. major pharmaceutical companies while AstraZeneca and Bayer are top names among major European Union pharmaceutical companies.

Related Links:

Here's What The FDA Approval Of Keytruda Means For Merck, And For Bristol-Myers

Everything We Know About Merck's Keytruda

Image Credit: Montgomery County Planning Commission (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons

Latest Ratings for MRK

Jan 2019BMO CapitalDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Nov 2018CitigroupMaintainsBuyBuy
Oct 2018CitigroupMaintainsBuyBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for MRK
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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