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 Monday. $226.48 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $316.96 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $90.48 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 17th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $2.80 for the day and closed at $56.16

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on MRK. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. DZ Bank raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.47.

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The company has a market cap of $143,868.70, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were paid a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $290,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $5,886,072. 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 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 $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Chemical Bank grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% in the fourth 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 grew its holdings in 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 acquiring an additional 18,573 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in 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 acquiring an additional 24,487 shares in the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $184,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $835,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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. 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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