Topic: How To Invest

Power Growth Investor Hotline – Friday, October 27, 2023

Article Excerpt

MERCK & CO. INC., $102.82, is a buy. The drugmaker (symbol MRK on New York) is a pharmaceutical leader in oncology, acute-care and animal health drugs as well as vaccines. Merck continues to make savvy acquisitions. Most recently, it bought Prometheus Biosciences Inc. for $10.8 billion. Prometheus is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on autoimmune treatments such as PRA023. It treats illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Prometheus could provide significant growth in a key new area. Autoimmune drugs are some of the industry’s biggest sellers and can command high prices. All in all, this acquisition adds a potentially strong franchise in immune-mediated/fibrotic treatments for Merck. That would diversify its focus outside of oncology, infectious disease, and cardio-metabolic disorders. In the quarter ended September 30, 2023, overall revenue rose 6.7%, to $15.96 billion from $14.96 billion a year earlier. The sales included surprisingly strong demand for Lageviro, the company’s COVID-19 pill, in Japan. Lageviro’s overall sales rose 47% to $640 million—and excluding that…