Credit Suisse Group Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Credit Suisse Group reiterated their buy rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note published on Wednesday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have a $95.00 target price on the stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of 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. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $91.07.

Shares of MRK stock traded up $0.79 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $85.52. The stock had a trading volume of 8,149,935 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,057,636. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $83.31. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.68 and a 52-week high of $87.07. The company has a market capitalization of $216.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.71, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 43.34%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Stillwater Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,796 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 43,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,671,000 after buying an additional 126 shares in the last quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 40,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,411,000 after buying an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Hyman Charles D lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Hyman Charles D now owns 31,274 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,622,000 after buying an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kidder Stephen W lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the second quarter. Kidder Stephen W now owns 7,065 shares of the company’s stock worth $592,000 after buying an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. 75.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

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