Merck & Co. Reaches New 52-Week High at $61.00 (MRK)
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday , ARN reports. The company traded as high as $61.00 and last traded at $60.59, with a volume of 4,260,913 shares. The stock had previously closed at $60.48.
A number of research firms have recently commented on MRK. Analysts at Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, August 27th. 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 issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.80.
The stock has a 50-day moving average of $58.24 and a 200-day moving average of $57.31. The company has a market cap of $174.4 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.87. Merck & Co. also was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 27,776,659 shares, a decline of 17.1% from the July 31st total of 33,501,461 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 8,604,040 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.2 days. Approximately 1.0% of the shares of the company are sold short.
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 prior year, the company posted $0.84 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue 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 2.91%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 11th.
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 22,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.70, for a total transaction of $1,313,400.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link.
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.