Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Coverage Initiated at Svb Leerink

Svb Leerink started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a report published on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Svb Leerink also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s Q3 2019 earnings at $1.24 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.17 EPS and FY2023 earnings at $6.33 EPS.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on MRK. Argus lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a neutral rating and a $85.00 target price for the company. 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. 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. 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 investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $92.56.

Shares of MRK opened at $86.19 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $213.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.86, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $66.10 and a 12 month high of $87.07. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $83.49 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $81.00.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results 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 company had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.06 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.69%.

In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Titan Capital Management LLC CA acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% during the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the period. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $40,000. Finally, Fusion Family Wealth LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 268.2% during the 2nd quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 486 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after acquiring an additional 354 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.05% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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