Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) will report sales of $10.93 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have made estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $10.82 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $11.05 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. posted sales of $10.33 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 5.8%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, October 25th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will report full year sales of $42.41 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $42.22 billion to $42.65 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $43.85 billion, with estimates ranging from $43.79 billion to $43.95 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Merck & Co., Inc..
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The business had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year.
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Guggenheim assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, October 8th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 12th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $70.24.
NYSE:MRK traded up $0.14 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $72.35. The stock had a trading volume of 13,726,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,634,400. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $72.89. The company has a market cap of $193.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.14, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.
In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 666,666 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $15.00 per share, for a total transaction of $9,999,990.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599 over the last ninety days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% during the third quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH now owns 31,345 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,224,000 after purchasing an additional 725 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% during the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 768 shares in the last quarter. Howard Capital Management boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the third quarter. Howard Capital Management now owns 264,546 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,767,000 after purchasing an additional 771 shares in the last quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 187,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,356,000 after purchasing an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Associated Banc Corp boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the second quarter. Associated Banc Corp now owns 251,933 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,293,000 after purchasing an additional 776 shares in the last quarter. 72.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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.
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