Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Equities research analysts at Leerink Swann upped their Q4 2016 earnings per share estimates for Merck & Co. in a report released on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now anticipates that the brokerage will post earnings per share of $0.96 for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.95. Leerink Swann currently has a “Market Perform” rating and a $65.00 price target on the stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share.
A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Vetr raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €64.74 ($71.93).
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.83% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $62.17. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,680,883 shares. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $62.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.10 and a beta of 0.68.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.3% in the first quarter. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. now owns 225,672 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,940,000 after buying an additional 2,840 shares during the last quarter. Telemus Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $1,768,000. Sanders Morris Harris Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $1,352,000. Sii Investments Inc. WI boosted its stake in shares of 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. Finally, Investment Centers of America Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.98%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
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.
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