Svb Leerink began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note published on Friday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage issued an outperform rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. Svb Leerink also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s Q3 2019 earnings at $1.24 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.17 EPS and FY2023 earnings at $6.33 EPS.
MRK has been the topic of several other research reports. Citigroup increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Leerink Swann began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday. They set an outperform rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $92.56.
NYSE:MRK traded up $1.60 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $85.06. The stock had a trading volume of 8,550,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,547,986. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $66.10 and a one year high of $87.07. The company has a market capitalization of $213.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.60, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $83.38 and a 200 day moving average of $80.94. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 50.69%.
In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NewDay Solutions LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth $240,000. Platinum Investment Management Ltd. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. Platinum Investment Management Ltd. now owns 22,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,852,000 after acquiring an additional 3,293 shares during the last quarter. Prudential PLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.3% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 2,712,247 shares of the company’s stock worth $227,467,000 after acquiring an additional 360,789 shares during the last quarter. TPI Fund Managers Ltd purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth $9,254,000. Finally, WealthStone Inc. purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth $586,000. Institutional investors own 75.34% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
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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