Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Group lowered their FY2018 EPS estimates for shares of Merck & in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst J. Holford now expects that the company will post earnings of $4.16 per share for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.18. Jefferies Group has a “Underperform” rating on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck &’s FY2019 earnings at $4.16 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.38 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.74 EPS.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.82% and a net margin of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.07 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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MRK has been the topic of several other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.07.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new position in Merck & in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC grew its stake in Merck & by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Merck & by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Merck & by 16.7% in the 1st quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Solaris Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Merck & by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.86% 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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