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

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the nineteen brokerages that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $87.67.

Several research firms have issued reports on MRK. Morgan Stanley restated a “hold” rating on shares of PG&E in a report on Friday, June 21st. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Yirendai from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Mizuho began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $97.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hudson Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $1.35 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $79.65. 1,142,097 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,772,176. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $62.01 and a 12 month high of $87.07. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $83.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $218.38 billion, a PE ratio of 18.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.57.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.05 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 17th were paid a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.76%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total transaction of $1,943,250.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,198,108.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 276,718 shares of company stock valued at $23,257,469 in the last quarter. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Stillwater Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,796 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,000 after acquiring an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 43,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,671,000 after acquiring an additional 126 shares during the last quarter. Centric Wealth Management boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Centric Wealth Management now owns 9,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $776,000 after acquiring an additional 132 shares during the last quarter. O Brien Wealth Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. O Brien Wealth Partners LLC now owns 3,281 shares of the company’s stock worth $273,000 after acquiring an additional 133 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Command Bank boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. First Command Bank now owns 8,481 shares of the company’s stock worth $711,000 after acquiring an additional 135 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.08% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

Read More: Backdoor Roth IRA Conversion and Strategy

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.