Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks boosted their FY2019 earnings per share estimates for shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note issued on Tuesday, March 13th, Zacks Investment Research reports. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Boris now anticipates that the company will post earnings of $4.51 per share for the year, up from their prior estimate of $4.48. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Buy” rating and a $72.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2020 earnings at $4.83 EPS, FY2021 earnings at $5.36 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $5.59 EPS.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on MRK. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Leerink Swann dropped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.47.
MRK stock traded down $1.17 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $53.36. 12,500,816 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,017,954. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $66.41. The firm has a market cap of $143,868.70, a P/E ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.78.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after acquiring an additional 1,834,500 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% during the 4th quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 43,221,157 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,432,154,000 after acquiring an additional 15,932,771 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,116,826 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,999,000 after acquiring an additional 957,657 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% during the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,505,621,000 after acquiring an additional 1,631,013 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $290,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,886,072. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.60%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.
WARNING: This piece of content was originally published by Dispatch Tribunal and is the property of of Dispatch Tribunal. If you are reading this piece of content on another publication, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of US and international copyright law. The correct version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://www.dispatchtribunal.com/2018/04/08/suntrust-banks-brokers-increase-earnings-estimates-for-merck-co-inc-mrk.html.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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.
Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)
For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.