Leerink Swann Reaffirms Market Perform Rating for Merck & Co. (MRK)
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)‘s stock had its “market perform” rating restated by equities researchers at Leerink Swann in a report issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $65.00 target price on the stock.
Several other research firms have also commented on MRK. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $72.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group cut their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, July 4th. One equities research 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. Merck & Co. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.80 ($70.89).
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.0767% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.8825. 2,827,179 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average of $62.63 and a 200-day moving average of $58.58. The company has a market capitalization of $171.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.9454 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86.
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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
In related news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. Finally, First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $121,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
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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