Q4 2016 EPS Estimates for Merck & Co. Lifted by Leerink Swann (MRK)
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Research analysts at Leerink Swann raised their Q4 2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Merck & Co. in a research report issued on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now forecasts that the firm will post earnings of $0.96 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.95. Leerink Swann currently has a “Market Perform” rating and a $65.00 target price on the stock.
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on MRK. Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.80 ($70.89).
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.363% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $61.705. The stock had a trading volume of 6,295,017 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $62.63 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.58. The firm has a market cap of $170.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.848 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86.
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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Accredited Investors Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 9,125 shares of the company’s stock worth $483,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 9,024 shares of the company’s stock worth $477,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management now owns 4,738 shares of the company’s stock worth $250,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Annex Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Annex Advisory Services LLC now owns 12,081 shares of the company’s stock worth $696,000 after buying an additional 43 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other Merck & Co. news, 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 transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, 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 transaction, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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