FY2016 Earnings Estimate for Merck & Co. Issued By Leerink Swann (MRK)
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Stock analysts at Leerink Swann increased their FY2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Merck & Co. in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now forecasts that the firm will earn $3.74 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $3.73. Leerink Swann has a “Hold” rating and a $58.00 price target on the stock.
Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 target price (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €63.20 ($70.23).
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.77 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $173.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.43 and a beta of 0.68. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $62.66 and a 200 day moving average of $58.40. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.00.
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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year.
Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 174,819,694 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,071,362,000 after buying an additional 3,242,254 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 74,363,785 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,284,098,000 after buying an additional 535,407 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 44,732,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,577,045,000 after buying an additional 1,701,520 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 27,068,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,432,206,000 after buying an additional 525,220 shares during the period. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.2% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,224,184 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,510,776,000 after buying an additional 1,531,565 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related 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 owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, 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 stock was 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 directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 101.10%.
About Merck & Co.
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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