Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Given Media Sentiment Rating of -2.33

Media coverage about Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has been trending negative this week, according to InfoTrie. The research group identifies negative and positive media coverage by monitoring more than six thousand news and blog sources. The firm ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -5 to 5, with scores nearest to five being the most favorable. Merck & Co., Inc. earned a news impact score of -2.33 on their scale. InfoTrie also assigned media stories about the company an news buzz score of 0 out of 10, meaning that recent media coverage is extremely unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next few days.

These are some of the headlines that may have effected Merck & Co., Inc.’s analysis:

A number of brokerages have issued reports on MRK. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $92.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. UBS Group cut their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.75.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $81.97 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $72.23 and a twelve month high of $92.64. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $88.70 and its 200-day simple moving average is $86.14. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $218.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.51, a P/E/G ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.57.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.76% and a net margin of 21.01%. The business had revenue of $11.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.04 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 16th will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.01%.

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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