This January the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical concern in the world, which was founded in 1668 by Friedrich Jacob Merck, already updated its all-time highs at nearly $120 per share. Being one of the hits of 2022 due to its best selling Molnupiravir oral drug to inhibit the replication of coronavirus, the stock added about 10% to its market value since Christmas time.

Merck went all that way just in several days, supported by a purchase of cancer medicine developer Harpoon Therapeutics. The $680 million investment may substantially strengthen Merck's oncology portfolio with immunotherapies. Merck has made drastic efforts to guarantee future growth of its money streams after its blockbuster immunotherapy drug named Keytruda came close to losing key patents. Now the health segment bellwether got weapons to successfully confront biosimilar peers. Harpoon now has at least two immunotherapies in early stage of development for a type of lung cancer and for multiple myeloma. Immunotherapies are directing the patient's T cells to recognize and attack the cancer.

Merck's share price refused to fall after the dividend date on January 8, which was a good sign as well. It is scheduled to present its quarterly results on the first day of February and may continue to rise on expectations. The company set its new record in sales numbers at $16 billion in late October and may exceed this achievement. Its CEOs projected revenue growth of 5.3% YoY to earn $8.44 per share in 2024, compared to $7.66 in 2022, which was the best year in financial terms for Merck so far. The company sees its annual sales in 2023 within the range of $59.7 billion to $60.2 billion, which would be better than its initial projections of $58.6 billion to $59.6 billion.

Merck share price cleared the $100 epic technical resistance 15 months ago, and now it is aiming to conquer the next target area at $140-150. Increased sales of Molnupiravir in the winter season may contribute much to the ending quarter report after soaring by 47% in Q3, as the number of cases are growing once again, WHO said. Merck's anti-COVID drug was big in Japan, for example, while Merck doubled its annual forecast for the pill. Gardasil, which is proved to be an effective vaccine against cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, already provided sales of $2.59 billion in Q3 2023, up by 13% compared to the same period of 2022.