Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Short Interest Update

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 18,890,000 shares, a drop of 8.3% from the April 30th total of 20,610,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 13,820,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days. Currently, 0.8% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of research firms have commented on MRK. UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 13th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $89.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Argus decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 24th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $97.00 to $89.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 2nd. Finally, Guggenheim decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $101.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $93.60.

In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.02, for a total transaction of $380,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $387,702. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.28% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Sowa Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,000. Stephenson National Bank & Trust acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $28,000. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 180.7% during the first quarter. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC now owns 421 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,000 after buying an additional 271 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacifica Partners Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $35,000. 75.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of MRK traded down $0.18 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $76.37. 6,046,385 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,529,766. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $65.25 and a 1-year high of $92.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $193.22 billion, a PE ratio of 19.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 1.11. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $79.51 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $83.36.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 28th. The company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.16. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 52.46%. The firm had revenue of $12.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.46 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.22 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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