Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Receives New Coverage from Analysts at Leerink Swann

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Leerink Swann started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. The brokerage issued an outperform rating and a $103.00 price objective on the stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on MRK. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a buy rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $92.56.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $85.06 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $66.10 and a twelve month high of $87.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $83.38 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $80.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $213.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate 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 business 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 earned $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 50.69%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, 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 transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Titan Capital Management LLC CA bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% during the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Institutional investors own 75.34% 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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