Leerink Swann upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report published on Monday, March 12th, MarketBeat reports.
A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on MRK. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Deutsche Bank reduced their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a buy rating and a $64.00 price target on the stock. TheStreet downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a b rating to a c rating in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $66.47.
MRK stock traded down $1.17 during trading on Monday, reaching $53.36. 12,500,216 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 12,983,889. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $66.41. The company has a market capitalization of $147,050.20, a PE ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 in the last quarter. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $110,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 79.3% in the 4th quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 920 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 748.1% in the 2nd quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 2,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 1,990 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Avestar Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $130,000. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.
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About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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