Traders Sell Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) on Strength (MRK)

Investors sold shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading on Wednesday. $60.12 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $139.47 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $79.35 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $0.45 for the day and closed at $54.54

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.47.

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The stock has a market cap of $147,050.20, a PE ratio of 13.70, a PEG ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.33.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.89 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.52%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. HPM Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. HPM Partners LLC now owns 70,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,537,000 after acquiring an additional 3,300 shares in the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 1,605,934 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,924,000 after acquiring an additional 124,946 shares in the last quarter. FCG Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $259,000. Martingale Asset Management L P increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 735,229 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,122,000 after purchasing an additional 43,718 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vantage Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC now owns 87,203 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,589,000 after purchasing an additional 20,706 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. 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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