Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Hits New 1-Year High at $89.40

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s stock price reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $89.40 and last traded at $88.39, with a volume of 56137 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $88.85.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on MRK shares. Leerink Swann started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 15th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price target for the company. Svb Leerink assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Societe Generale set a $105.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.47.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The company has a market capitalization of $226.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 0.52. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $85.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $83.91.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The business had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.59 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.19 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 50.69%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Fox Run Management L.L.C. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.4% during the third quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. now owns 2,827 shares of the company’s stock worth $238,000 after acquiring an additional 118 shares during the period. First Command Bank lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. First Command Bank now owns 8,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $724,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares during the last quarter. Allworth Financial LP boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 6,278 shares of the company’s stock valued at $528,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares during the period. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. now owns 5,349 shares of the company’s stock valued at $449,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the period. Finally, Appleton Partners Inc. MA boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 44,562 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,751,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the period. 74.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile (NYSE:MRK)

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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