Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Lifted to Overweight at Barclays

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by investment analysts at Barclays from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Marketbeat reports. The brokerage presently has a $64.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $62.00. Barclays’ target price indicates a potential upside of 19.94% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on MRK. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 23rd. Leerink Swann dropped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. One investment 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’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.47.

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Shares of MRK opened at $53.36 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $147,050.20, a PE ratio of 13.41, a P/E/G 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. has a 1-year low of $52.83 and a 1-year high of $66.41.

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

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’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 transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $273,207. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 over the last 90 days. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Chemical Bank raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% during the 4th quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 97,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,476,000 after purchasing an additional 1,963 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.0% during the 4th quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 128,055 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,273,000 after purchasing an additional 18,573 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 255,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,389,000 after purchasing an additional 24,487 shares during the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $184,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $835,000. 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.

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

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