Merck & Co. Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Zacks (MRK)
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reissued by Zacks in a note issued to investors on Monday. They currently have a $62.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 5.78% from the stock’s previous close.
Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Merck’s second quarter earnings of $0.85 per share were above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.81 and up 1.2% y-o-y. Revenues, while down 1% y-o-y, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Cost control efforts helped the company record earnings growth. Going forward, we remain concerned about the performance of Januvia, which declined y-o-y. With Singulair and a few other products facing generic competition, we expect the top-line to remain under pressure. Merck will continue to look toward cost-cutting initiatives and share buybacks to drive the bottom-line. We are also positive on Merck’s efforts to expand its pipeline and focus on core areas of expertise. With the Idenix acquisition, Merck will boost its HCV portfolio. We remain Neutral on the stock.”
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $58.52. 4,414,981 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $44.62 and a 52-week high of $59.84. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $57.82 and its 200-day moving average is $56.78. The company has a market cap of $168.8 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.88.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 29th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $10.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.60 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.84 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 11th.
In other Merck & Co. news, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 10,058 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.00, for a total value of $573,306.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.
MRK has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Jefferies Group cut their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $63.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Monday, August 11th. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, July 31st. They now have a $59.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $56.00. Finally, analysts at BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 31st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $60.64.
Merck & Co, Inc (NYSE:MRK), is a global health care company that delivers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures.
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