Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Receives Average Recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from Brokerages

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from the twenty research firms that are covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $98.28.

MRK has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Atlantic Securities upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Cowen upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Berenberg Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $95.00 to $100.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Cowen boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Down 1.7 %

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $84.53 on Thursday. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $88.96 and its 200-day moving average is $87.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $214.14 billion, a PE ratio of 12.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $71.50 and a 12-month high of $95.72.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.45% and a net margin of 29.00%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.31 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 42.27%.

Institutional Trading of Merck & Co., Inc.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 42.4% in the 4th quarter. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC now owns 4,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $347,000 after acquiring an additional 1,347 shares in the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.2% in the 4th quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 723,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,464,000 after acquiring an additional 42,370 shares in the last quarter. ANTIPODES PARTNERS Ltd raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. ANTIPODES PARTNERS Ltd now owns 1,970,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $160,579,000 after acquiring an additional 68,277 shares in the last quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC now owns 89,856 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,887,000 after acquiring an additional 2,469 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Summit Global Investments raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 50.6% in the 4th quarter. Summit Global Investments now owns 151,364 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,601,000 after acquiring an additional 50,826 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

(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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