The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Bayer

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Dec. 11, 2012

CHICAGO, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Bayer


Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit
from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Merck's Alzheimer's Drug Progresses

Merck (NYSE:MRK) recently moved its Alzheimer's disease candidate, MK-8931,
into a phase II/III study (EPOCH). The study will evaluate the safety and
efficacy of MK-8931, an oral β-amyloid precursor protein site-cleaving enzyme
(BACE) inhibitor, in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease patients.

Three oral doses of MK-8931 will be compared to placebo in the 78-week,
randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blind study. The safety
profile of the candidate will be evaluated in 200 patients before phase III
studies are initiated.

We view MK-8931 as a high risk-high return candidate for Merck. The successful
development of therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is
challenging and we note that several companies have failed in developing
treatments for the same.

Companies likePfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) have all
faced setbacks in their efforts to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's

The Alzheimer's disease market, however, represents huge commercial potential
and therefore attracts a lot of interest. A successfully developed product
could generate billions of dollars in sales once launched. As per data
provided by the Alzheimer's Association, approximately 5.4 million people have
Alzheimer's disease in the US alone.

Neutral on Merck

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Merck, which carries a Zacks #3
Rank (Hold). While headwinds remain in the form of the Singulair
genericization, EU pricing pressure, unfavorable currency movement, US health
care reform, the Remicade/Simponi transition and pipeline setbacks, some of
the company's recent launches should start contributing significantly to the
top line in the forthcoming quarters.

Large-cap pharma stocks currently holding a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) include
companies like Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY).

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the
Pros newsletter:

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative
analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded
stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights
to developments that affect company profits and stock performance.
Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the
latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed
in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in
stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his
many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking
system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3
to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and
market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email
newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of
Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free
subscription to Profit from the Pros at

Visit for information about the performance
numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors
should always research companies and securities before making any investments.
Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell
any security.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.