Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) had its price objective boosted by UBS Group from $94.00 to $99.00 in a report published on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the stock.
Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Mizuho restated a buy rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, January 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, October 16th. They set a neutral rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $96.38.
Shares of MRK stock traded down $2.58 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $85.98. 14,270,030 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,276,382. The stock has a market cap of $228.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.02, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $90.26 and its two-hundred day moving average is $85.77. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $72.05 and a 52-week high of $92.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 0.98.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.84%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 56.22%.
In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Atwater Malick LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $57,000. 1 North Wealth Services LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $58,000. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.3% in the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 793 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. American National Bank acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $67,000. Finally, Balentine LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% in the 3rd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 344 shares in the last quarter. 74.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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