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Merck And Pfizer Earnings: Will They Beat Expectations Again?

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Merck And Pfizer Earnings: Will They Beat Expectations Again?
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  • Among the earnings highlights for the week will be the reports from two major pharmaceutical companies.
  • Wall Street analysts are looking for earnings growth from only one of them.
  • Both companies have exceeded earnings estimates in recent quarters.

The earnings season rolls on even as the calendar page turns, and among the highlights this week will be the latest results from major pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).

The consensus forecasts would suggest that Wall Street analysts on average expect top and bottom line results from the former to be flat year-over-year, while solid growth is predicted for the latter. However, analysts have underestimated earnings from both of them in recent quarters.

Below is a quick look at what analysts expect from these two reports, followed by a glance at some of the other most anticipated earnings reports due out this week.

Merck

When this maker of Gardasil and Keytruda shares its Q1 results late Wednesday, the Estimize consensus forecast calls for a profit of $0.87 per share. That compares to earnings of $0.85 per share in the year-ago period. It's also higher than Wall Street's estimate of $0.85 per share. Merck has topped earnings estimates in recent quarters.

Revenue for the three months that ended in March will be $9.57 billion, or up less than 2 percent year-over-year, if the 13 Estimize survey respondents are correct. Wall Street analysts are looking for $9.47 billion. Note that revenue fell well short of estimates from both back in the previous quarter.

See also: CVS And Whole Foods To Set The Stage For Retail Earnings?

Pfizer

Wall Street's forecast for the maker of Lipitor and Viagra sees earnings up $0.04 from the year-ago period to $0.55 per share, while 39 Estimize respondents predict that per-share earnings will be $0.56. Note that Wall Street has underestimated actual earnings numbers in every period for the past two years.

Revenue also exceeded consensus estimates in recent quarters, and now Estimize respondents are looking for $12.09 billion for the first quarter. The Wall Street forecast pegs it at $12.00 billion, or more than 10 percent higher year-over-year. Look for Pfizer's report before Tuesday's opening bell.

And Others

Other companies that Wall Street analysts expect to show at least some earnings growth when they report this week include Alibaba, Berkshire Hathaway, CenturyLink, Cigna, CVS Health, HCA, Medivation, Sysco, Time Warner and Twenty-First Century Fox.

On the other hand, EPS at Activision Blizzard, ADM, AIG, Allstate, Anheuser-Busch, Avon Products, Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Emerson Electric, Exelon, Humana, Kellogg, MetLife, MGM Resorts, Mosaic, News Corp, Prudential Financial, Starwood Hotels, Tenet Healthcare, Transocean, Western Union and Whole Foods will be smaller than a year ago, according to the consensus forecasts.

Net losses are in the cards for Anadarko Petroleum, Avis Budget, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, Frontier Communications, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and Tesla Motors, if expectations are accurate.

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

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