Blue-Chip Pharma Stock Jumps on Bull Note, FDA Approval

The shares are within a chip-shot of their all-time high

Deputy Editor
Apr 13, 2023 at 9:18 AM
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Citigroup upgraded blue-chip pharma giant Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to "buy" and hiked its price target to $130, citing "materially revised forecasts" for the company's experimental cancer treatment MK-2870. Buzz is also circling after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's application for its other cancer drug Keytruda (Pembrolizumab). In response, Merck stock is leading the premarket Dow gainers with a 1.1% lead.

Coming into today, 13 covering brokerages rate MRK a "strong buy," but four still consider the equity a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the 12-month average price target of $118.96 is a 4.6% premium to last night's close.

On the charts, Merck stock is looking to move back above the $114 level, which would put it within a chip-shot of its Jan. 6 all-time high of $115.49. Year-to-date, the shares are moving further into positive territory, and extending their 32.8% year-over-year lead. 

Those looking to join these traders are in luck, as premiums are looking affordable right now. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 20% stands higher than just 18% of readings from the past 12 months, suggesting that these players are pricing in low volatility expectations right now.


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