A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday. Leerink Swann restated a market perform rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday. Barclays PLC restated an overweight rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Vetr cut Merck & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.84 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 10th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of €65.58 ($72.87).
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.14 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $62.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.70. The firm has a market cap of $171.83 billion, a PE ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.86 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Middleton & Co Inc MA boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 3.0% in the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 185,147 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,796,000 after buying an additional 5,465 shares in the last quarter. Hyman Charles D bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $905,000. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 29,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,567,000 after buying an additional 630 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 7.3% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 84,687 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,481,000 after buying an additional 5,798 shares in the last quarter. Finally, B & T Capital Management DBA Alpha Capital Management bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $2,290,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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