Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Research analysts at Jefferies Group issued their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for Merck & Co. in a research note issued to investors on Friday, April 13th. Jefferies Group analyst I. Hilliker expects that the company will post earnings per share of $0.99 for the quarter. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $56.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck & Co.’s FY2018 earnings at $4.14 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.51 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $5.01 EPS.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year.
MRK has been the subject of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. DZ Bank upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $66.53.
Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $58.65 on Monday. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $66.41. The firm has a market cap of $154,141.17, a PE ratio of 14.74, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $110,000. NewSquare Capital LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 728.3% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors increased its position in Merck & Co. by 79.3% during the fourth quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 920 shares during the last quarter. Avestar Capital LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $130,000. Finally, Balentine LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. 74.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were paid a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.
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About Merck & Co.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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