Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has been given a $68.00 target price by equities researchers at BMO Capital Markets in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the stock. BMO Capital Markets’ price objective would suggest a potential upside of 21.41% from the company’s previous close.
Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. SunTrust Banks cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reduced their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.29.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down $0.42 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $56.01. 10,048,156 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,761,317. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $53.63 and a twelve month high of $66.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $155,483.63, a P/E ratio of 14.67, a P/E/G ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.76.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter valued at $127,000. Institutional investors own 73.84% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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.