Merck & Co. (MRK) Price Target Raised to $70.00

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) had its price target upped by Bank of America from $68.00 to $70.00 in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a “buy” rating on the stock. Bank of America’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 18.81% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on MRK. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. SunTrust Banks raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $66.83.

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Shares of Merck & Co. stock opened at $58.92 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $159,803.17, a P/E ratio of 14.89, a PEG ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.78. 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. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $66.41.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post 4.16 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $1,392,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co. by 58.4% in the 4th quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 43,221,157 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,432,154,000 after purchasing an additional 15,932,771 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co. by 992.8% in the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,152,305 shares of the company’s stock worth $515,000,000 after purchasing an additional 8,314,765 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp raised its position in Merck & Co. by 33,282.9% in the 4th quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 5,941,154 shares of the company’s stock worth $334,309,000 after purchasing an additional 5,923,357 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 172.3% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock worth $429,347,000 after purchasing an additional 4,243,246 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Investors raised its position in Merck & Co. by 55.3% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $616,185,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428,400 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.60% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

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