Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Short Interest Down 18.6% in September

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) saw a significant decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 28th, there was short interest totalling 17,400,442 shares, a decline of 18.6% from the September 14th total of 21,387,572 shares. Approximately 0.7% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 7,727,844 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.3 days.

NYSE:MRK opened at $71.82 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $72.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $14,825,915.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares in the company, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 185,546,933 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,262,699,000 after purchasing an additional 831,243 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after purchasing an additional 5,880,457 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,346,241,000 after purchasing an additional 3,242,430 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 15,905,834 shares of the company’s stock worth $965,485,000 after purchasing an additional 149,438 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.5% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 14,733,548 shares of the company’s stock worth $894,326,000 after purchasing an additional 2,406,836 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.18% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Guggenheim initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, October 8th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Finally, Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.24.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

Featured Article: Discover Your Risk Tolerance

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Leave a Reply