Merck & Co. (MRK) Stock Rating Upgraded by Bank of America Corp.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by Bank of America Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, The Fly reports.
Several other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Vetr raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.80 ($70.89).
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 61.66 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $170.50 billion, a PE ratio of 33.82 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.58 and its 200 day moving average is $58.61.
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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 Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.98%. 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, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its position 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 in the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $115,000. First New York Securities LLC NY acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $121,000. Finally, NewSquare Capital LLC raised its position 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 in the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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.
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