Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Brokerages

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the seventeen brokerages that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $82.92.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, March 29th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $0.64 during trading on Thursday, reaching $79.52. 396,090 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,160,290. The company has a market cap of $212.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.36, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.37. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.03 and a 52 week high of $83.85.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The company’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 EPS. Research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 20,105 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.00, for a total value of $1,648,610.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 810,859 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $66,490,438. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 18,725 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.00, for a total value of $1,535,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 816,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $66,948,080. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 538,099 shares of company stock valued at $43,923,339. 0.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Global Retirement Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 6,120 shares of the company’s stock valued at $509,000 after buying an additional 131 shares during the period. O Brien Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% in the first quarter. O Brien Wealth Partners LLC now owns 3,281 shares of the company’s stock valued at $273,000 after buying an additional 133 shares during the period. WealthPLAN Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% in the third quarter. WealthPLAN Partners LLC now owns 8,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $626,000 after buying an additional 135 shares during the period. MONECO Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.9% in the first quarter. MONECO Advisors LLC now owns 2,916 shares of the company’s stock valued at $243,000 after buying an additional 135 shares during the period. Finally, Lindbrook Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% in the first quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 5,858 shares of the company’s stock valued at $487,000 after buying an additional 136 shares during the period. 73.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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