Merck & Co. (MRK) Downgraded by Vetr Inc. to Hold
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) was downgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday. They presently have a $64.84 price objective on the stock.
A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group lowered their price objective on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price objective on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.37 ($70.41).
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 1.80% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $63.90. 20,345,855 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.56. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86. The firm has a market capitalization of $176.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.05 and a beta of 0.68.
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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
In other Merck & Co. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €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.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 112.3% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 40,322 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,516,000 after buying an additional 21,328 shares during the last quarter. Nadler Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 3.7% in the third quarter. Nadler Financial Group Inc. now owns 10,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $631,000 after buying an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Sadoff Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 3.4% in the third quarter. Sadoff Investment Management LLC now owns 4,245 shares of the company’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the third quarter valued at about $208,000. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 4.7% in the third quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 86,136 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,369,000 after buying an additional 3,876 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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.
To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.
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