Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Stock analysts at SunTrust Banks reduced their Q3 2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Merck & in a research report issued on Sunday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Boris now forecasts that the company will earn $1.01 per share for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $1.03. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Merck &’s FY2017 earnings at $3.88 EPS.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on MRK. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 target price (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. UBS AG increased their target price on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub raised shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.80.

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Merck & (MRK) opened at 62.84 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $171.88 billion, a PE ratio of 34.02 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $63.65 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.78. Merck & has a 1-year low of $57.18 and a 1-year high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 17.14%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is presently 76.11%.

In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at $909,702.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MRK. HM Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,734 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.5% in the second quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $294,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $405,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.5% in the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $348,000 after buying an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Finally, City Holding Co. boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 7,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $494,000 after buying an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.73% of the company’s stock.

Merck & 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. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

Earnings History and Estimates for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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