Vetr downgraded shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning. Vetr currently has $64.84 target price on the stock.
Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Argus reiterated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Leerink Swann reiterated a hold rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a hold rating and set a $59.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of €63.80 ($70.89).
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 61.66 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $170.50 billion, a PE ratio of 33.82 and a beta of 0.68. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.58 and its 200-day moving average is $58.61. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the sale, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sanders Morris Harris Inc. purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $1,352,000. Sii Investments Inc. WI boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 35.8% in the first quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 77,329 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,087,000 after buying an additional 20,404 shares during the last quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 7.1% in the first quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 83,141 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,387,000 after buying an additional 5,546 shares during the last quarter. Wade G W & Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.5% in the first quarter. Wade G W & Inc. now owns 17,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $938,000 after buying an additional 437 shares during the last quarter. Finally, St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.6% in the first quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 17,945 shares of the company’s stock worth $949,000 after buying an additional 452 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. 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, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.