Analysts Anticipate Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Will Post Earnings of $1.14 Per Share

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Analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) will report $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have made estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.18 and the lowest is $1.11. Merck & Co., Inc. reported earnings of $1.11 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 2.7%. The company is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Friday, October 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will report full-year earnings of $4.26 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.18 to $4.29. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $4.56 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.27 to $4.65. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Merck & Co., Inc..

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. Bank of America upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 22nd. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 18th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.24.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total value of $1,904,361.60. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 70,675 shares in the company, valued at $4,608,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 406,365 shares of company stock worth $25,829,990. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MRK. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 185,546,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,262,699,000 after acquiring an additional 831,243 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,674,552,000 after buying an additional 5,880,457 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,346,241,000 after buying an additional 3,242,430 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,116,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,634,999,000 after buying an additional 957,657 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,959,000 after buying an additional 3,682,328 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.08% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $0.07, reaching $66.07, during trading on Friday, MarketBeat reports. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,439,672 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,021,469. The company has a market capitalization of $177.95 billion, a PE ratio of 16.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.10. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $66.99.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.91%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.24%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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