Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Investment analysts at SunTrust Banks reduced their FY2018 EPS estimates for shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks Investment Research reports. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Boris now expects that the company will post earnings of $4.04 per share for the year, down from their previous estimate of $4.07. SunTrust Banks has a “Hold” rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2019 earnings at $4.23 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.56 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $5.00 EPS.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis.
MRK has been the topic of several other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price objective on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.29.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $57.60 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.63 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm has a market cap of $157,100.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares during the period. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter valued at about $127,000. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.33%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 186.41%.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.
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