The Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Upgraded by Vetr Inc. to Strong-Buy

The Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Upgraded by Vetr Inc. to Strong-Buy

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on MRK. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, March 20th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Friday, February 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $68.58.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by research analysts at Vetr from a “sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, May 15th. The brokerage currently has a $71.50 price target on the stock. Vetr‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.21% from the company’s previous close.

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 65.47 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $62.97. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $55.10 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The stock has a market cap of $179.07 billion, a PE ratio of 41.73 and a beta of 0.79.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.08% and a net margin of 14.30%. The firm had revenue of $9.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.84 EPS for the current fiscal year. The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.87%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 92.61%.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.08% and a net margin of 14.30%. The firm had revenue of $9.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.84 EPS for the current fiscal year. In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 53,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.48, for a total value of $3,418,398.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total transaction of $317,700.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 14,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $909,702.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 2,738.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 183,162,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,638,170,000 after buying an additional 176,711,091 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,628,824,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 88.7% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 35,668,056 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,226,043,000 after buying an additional 16,764,608 shares in the last quarter. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $821,068,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $467,847,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.10% of the company’s stock. Merck & Co. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.new TradingView.widget({ “height”: 400, “width”: 625, “symbol”: “MRK”, “interval”: “D”, “timezone”: “Etc/UTC”, “theme”: “White”, “style”: “1”, “locale”: “en”, “toolbar_bg”: “#f1f3f6”, “enable_publishing”: false, “hideideas”: true, “referral_id”: “2588”}); To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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