Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. They currently have a $74.00 price objective on the stock. BMO Capital Markets’ target price would suggest a potential upside of 13.72% from the company’s current price.
MRK has been the subject of a number of other reports. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Friday, February 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Vetr upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.31 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, March 8th. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated an “underperform” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective (up from $50.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Saturday, March 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.79.
Merck & Co. (MRK) opened at 65.07 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $63.62 and a 200-day moving average of $62.98. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $55.10 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The company has a market cap of $177.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.47 and a beta of 0.79.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 14.30% and a return on equity of 24.08%. The company had revenue of $9.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.25 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.84 EPS for the current year.
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 53,850 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.48, for a total transaction of $3,418,398.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total transaction of $317,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at $909,702.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock. Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Merck & Co. by 18.3% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,187,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,120,000 after buying an additional 184,086 shares during the period. Polar Capital LLP boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 210.5% in the third quarter. Polar Capital LLP now owns 1,273,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,437,000 after buying an additional 863,000 shares in the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.2% in the third quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 1,032,428 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,917,000 after buying an additional 22,534 shares in the last quarter. Zacks Investment Management boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 35.3% in the third quarter. Zacks Investment Management now owns 1,198,199 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,780,000 after buying an additional 312,643 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geller Family Office Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the third quarter valued at about $277,000. 74.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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