Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Sets New 1-Year High and Low at $52.96

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s share price reached a new 52-week high and low during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as low as $52.96 and last traded at $53.27, with a volume of 13387855 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $54.47.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Leerink Swann decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.35.

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The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.33. The company has a market capitalization of $146,861.47, a P/E ratio of 13.38, a PEG ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.77.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025 over the last ninety days. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% during the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 43,221,157 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,432,154,000 after acquiring an additional 15,932,771 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 992.8% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,152,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $515,000,000 after purchasing an additional 8,314,765 shares in the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 33,282.9% in the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 5,941,154 shares of the company’s stock valued at $334,309,000 after purchasing an additional 5,923,357 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 172.3% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,347,000 after purchasing an additional 4,243,246 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 55.3% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,185,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428,400 shares in the last quarter. 74.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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