Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group issued their Q3 2016 EPS estimates for Merck & Co. in a report issued on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst J. Holford expects that the firm will earn $0.98 per share for the quarter. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $56.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck & Co.’s FY2017 earnings at $4.16 EPS.
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Vetr upgraded Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 4th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €65.05 ($72.28).
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.14 on Friday. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86. 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. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.86 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The stock was 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 completion of the sale, 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the sale, the insider now owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First New York Securities LLC NY purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $121,000. 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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