Monday, June 21

Buy Merck if the shutdown continues to drag on

CNBC’s Jim Cramer implored investors on Thursday not to let day-to-day market volatility frighten them out of buying shares of great long-term performers like pharmaceutical giant Merck.

“Merck is exactly the kind of company that investors circle the wagons around” during difficult macroeconomic events like long-lived government shutdowns, Cramer said on “Mad Money” amid a broader market rotation.

“Even though Merck ran up dramatically last year, I think the stock remains way too cheap, and as the rotation plays out, it could get even cheaper, meaning you could get an even better buying opportunity,” he continued. “We’re talking about a best-of-breed drug company here, yet it’s not getting the kind of premium multiple I think it deserves.”

So, even though Cramer expects more selling in the drugmakers’ stocks in the next several days, he urged stock-pickers to consider the bigger picture and, if they’re interested, to scale into Merck’s stock “gradually.”

“Thanks to Keytruda,” Merck’s leading anti-cancer franchise, “Merck is once again a growth pharmaceutical company,” he said. “I’m betting it’ll be years before their key drug faces any meaningful competition, which means you can buy it into weakness here.”

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