Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Given Average Recommendation of “Buy” by Brokerages

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the seventeen research firms that are covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $90.69.

MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, January 28th. Barclays upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $97.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Mizuho started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, April 1st. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. SVB Leerink decreased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $97.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. Finally, StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “strong-buy” rating for the company.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $0.71 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $83.88. The company had a trading volume of 426,650 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,986,648. The company’s 50-day moving average is $80.58 and its two-hundred day moving average is $79.88. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $70.89 and a twelve month high of $91.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 1.02. The company has a market cap of $212.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.45.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.46 by $0.34. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 26.02% and a return on equity of 47.24%. The business had revenue of $13.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.14 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.32 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.2 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 7th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 14th. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.29%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 53.70%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Disciplined Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 24.3% in the 1st quarter. Disciplined Investments LLC now owns 604 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares in the last quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 34,987 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,871,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Sheets Smith Wealth Management increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Sheets Smith Wealth Management now owns 24,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,896,000 after purchasing an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. Wealth Dimensions Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Wealth Dimensions Group Ltd. now owns 14,434 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,084,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. now owns 18,152 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,363,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.05% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile (Get Rating)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

Further Reading

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

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