Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Given New $66.00 Price Target at Leerink Swann

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) had its target price dropped by research analysts at Leerink Swann from $67.00 to $66.00 in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a “market perform” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 20.55% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other analysts have also commented on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Barclays lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, UBS Group lowered their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.35.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down $0.15 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $54.75. The company had a trading volume of 1,773,694 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,529,184. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The company has a market capitalization of $148,920.00, a PE ratio of 58.58, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.36 and a 12 month high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 27.73%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.89 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after purchasing an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Advisory LLP grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Advisory LLP now owns 11,110 shares of the company’s stock valued at $712,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares during the last quarter. 72.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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