Jefferies Group Comments on Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2019 Earnings (MRK)

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Stock analysts at Jefferies Group decreased their FY2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Merck & Co. in a note issued to investors on Monday, according to Zacks Investment Research. Jefferies Group analyst J. Holford now anticipates that the company will post earnings per share of $4.08 for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.09. Jefferies Group has a “Underperform” rating and a $51.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck & Co.’s FY2020 earnings at $4.32 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.65 EPS.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.08% and a net margin of 14.30%. The firm had revenue of $9.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.25 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

MRK has been the topic of several other research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Friday, February 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, May 11th. Vetr raised Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.51 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 19th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (down previously from $72.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. Finally, Leerink Swann reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, March 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.53.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.06% on Tuesday, reaching $63.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,251,836 shares. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $54.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $63.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.68. The stock has a market cap of $174.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.69 and a beta of 0.79.

In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 53,850 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Monday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.48, for a total value of $3,418,398.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $909,702.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Sanders Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.3% in the first quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 11,593,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $752,482,000 after buying an additional 365,276 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 183.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 1,200,139 shares of the company’s stock worth $76,255,000 after buying an additional 777,044 shares during the period. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.1% in the first quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 28,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,831,000 after buying an additional 604 shares during the period. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 18.8% in the first quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 103,395 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,618,000 after buying an additional 16,383 shares during the period. Finally, Adalta Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $4,844,000. 74.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Merck & Co.

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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