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

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the seventeen analysts that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have issued a hold recommendation and thirteen have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $95.47.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on MRK shares. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $97.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Leerink Swann started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Argus boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th.

MRK traded up $0.08 during trading on Monday, hitting $87.26. The stock had a trading volume of 2,821,410 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,812,712. 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 firm has a market capitalization of $221.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.11, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.52. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $84.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $83.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $70.89 and a twelve month high of $87.87.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 50.69%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Maverick Capital Ltd. purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,257,000. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 28.4% in the 3rd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 502,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,273,000 after purchasing an additional 111,190 shares in the last quarter. Signet Financial Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 70.7% in the 3rd quarter. Signet Financial Management LLC now owns 24,346 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,028,000 after purchasing an additional 10,084 shares in the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.7% in the 3rd quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 92,608 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,796,000 after purchasing an additional 9,686 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stamos Capital Partners L.P. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 70.2% in the 3rd quarter. Stamos Capital Partners L.P. now owns 40,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,409,000 after purchasing an additional 16,700 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.53% 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.

Read More: How can investors find ex-dividend dates?

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

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.