Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) – SVB Leerink lifted their Q3 2022 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report issued on Monday, September 12th. SVB Leerink analyst D. Graybosch now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $1.71 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $1.64. SVB Leerink currently has a “Outperform” rating and a $109.00 target price on the stock. The consensus estimate for Merck & Co., Inc.’s current full-year earnings is $7.32 per share. SVB Leerink also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s Q4 2022 earnings at $1.75 EPS, Q1 2024 earnings at $2.01 EPS, Q2 2024 earnings at $2.08 EPS and FY2026 earnings at $10.27 EPS.
Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Mizuho began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, June 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. Cowen lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Cowen raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Finally, UBS Group raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $98.28.
Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.45% and a net margin of 29.00%. The company had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.85 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.31 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Merck & Co., Inc.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth $1,823,028,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,191,909,000 after buying an additional 10,326,974 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 53.8% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,349,549 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,037,608,000 after buying an additional 7,816,470 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.7% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 48,153,283 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,682,009,000 after buying an additional 5,409,154 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the 1st quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $418,400,000 after buying an additional 4,915,334 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.17%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.27%.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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.
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