Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eighteen ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $83.79.
MRK has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Bank of America upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Argus upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $95.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd.
Shares of NYSE MRK traded up $0.30 during trading on Monday, reaching $83.08. 2,732,346 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,654,754. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $59.80 and a 52-week high of $84.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.06. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $79.73. The stock has a market cap of $213.13 billion, a PE ratio of 19.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.55.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Investors of record on Monday, June 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.
In related news, EVP Robert M. Davis sold 192,572 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.38, for a total transaction of $15,864,081.36. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 330,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,204,512.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 4,121,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The shares were bought at an average price of $16.00 per share, for a total transaction of $65,946,928.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 445,308 shares of company stock worth $36,421,320. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.8% in the 4th quarter. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp now owns 15,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,148,000 after acquiring an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 60,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,635,000 after acquiring an additional 2,533 shares during the last quarter. Cavalier Investments LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth about $1,195,000. First Personal Financial Services increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 118.2% in the 4th quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 9,182 shares of the company’s stock worth $702,000 after acquiring an additional 4,974 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Venturi Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth about $299,000. Institutional investors own 75.08% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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