Cowen Reiterates Hold Rating for Merck & Co. (MRK)

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by equities research analysts at Cowen in a report issued on Friday. They presently have a $67.00 price target on the stock. Cowen’s price target points to a potential upside of 13.89% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $59.80 to $63.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, April 16th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.67.

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Shares of Merck & Co. stock opened at $58.83 on Friday. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $52.83 and a 52-week high of $66.41. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The company has a market capitalization of $158,104.58, a P/E ratio of 14.78, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.78.

Merck & Co. (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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. 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 previous year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Chemical Bank grew its position in Merck & Co. by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 97,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,476,000 after buying an additional 1,963 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC grew its position in Merck & Co. by 17.0% in the 4th quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 128,055 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,273,000 after buying an additional 18,573 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co. by 10.6% in the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 255,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,389,000 after buying an additional 24,487 shares during the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new position in Merck & Co. in the 4th quarter valued at $184,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. in the 4th quarter valued at $835,000. 74.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Merck & Co. Company Profile

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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