BMO Capital Markets restated their sell rating on shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, July 5th.
A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Merck & from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Credit Suisse Group restated a buy rating on shares of Merck & in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, June 12th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a sell rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. Finally, Vetr downgraded Merck & from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $69.99 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $69.80.
Merck & (MRK) traded down 0.36% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $63.88. The company had a trading volume of 11,714,888 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $174.72 billion, a PE ratio of 34.59 and a beta of 0.81. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.67 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.76. Merck & has a 52 week low of $57.18 and a 52 week high of $66.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 17.14%. Merck &’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & will post $3.85 EPS for the current year.
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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.
In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total transaction of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Davis R M Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 9.2% in the second quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 255,108 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,350,000 after buying an additional 21,555 shares during the last quarter. Norris Perne & French LLP MI boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 3.9% in the second quarter. Norris Perne & French LLP MI now owns 135,424 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,679,000 after buying an additional 5,141 shares during the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 1.3% in the second quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 533,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,173,000 after buying an additional 7,100 shares during the last quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 5.9% in the second quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 223,682 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,336,000 after buying an additional 12,386 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WealthTrust Axiom LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the second quarter. WealthTrust Axiom LLC now owns 52,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,345,000 after buying an additional 205 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.68% 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.
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