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

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Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seventeen ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $95.47.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on MRK shares. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. Svb Leerink initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, August 16th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price for the company. Societe Generale set a $105.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th.

MRK stock traded up $0.10 during trading on Monday, reaching $88.85. 6,637,335 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,929,722. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $85.00 and a 200 day simple moving average of $83.91. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $70.89 and a 12 month high of $89.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 1.26. The company has a market capitalization of $226.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.52.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th will be issued a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.75%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.69%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Webster Bank N. A. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.3% in the second quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 29,607 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,483,000 after purchasing an additional 2,004 shares during the last quarter. Bogart Wealth LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the 2nd quarter. Bogart Wealth LLC now owns 33,173 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,781,000 after buying an additional 3,192 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.9% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 942,187 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,004,000 after buying an additional 150,070 shares during the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Finally, Clean Yield Group lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Clean Yield Group now owns 45,042 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,777,000 after acquiring an additional 2,683 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.53% 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.

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

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