Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Merck & Co. (MRK)
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) were the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 7,944 call options on the company, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. This represents an increase of approximately 106% compared to the typical daily volume of 3,860 call options.
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 22,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock on the open market in a transaction dated Monday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.70, for a total transaction of $1,313,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.
Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday. They set a “hold” rating and a $63.00 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Separately, analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 18th. They now have a $62.00 price target on the stock. Finally, 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. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.80.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.46% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $60.00. 5,224,822 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $44.62 and a 1-year high of $60.58. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $58.05 and a 200-day moving average of $57.16. The company has a market cap of $173.1 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.76.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 29th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 11th.
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.
Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades via Email - Stay on top of analysts' coverage with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter that provides a concise list of analysts' upgrades and downgrades. Click here to register now.