Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.87 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. updated its FY 2018 guidance to $4.30-4.36 EPS.
MRK traded up $1.22 during trading on Friday, reaching $76.06. 13,527,455 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 14,536,856. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $76.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $205.07 billion, a PE ratio of 19.11, a P/E/G ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.73.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.24%.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 36,218 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.14, for a total transaction of $2,721,420.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 82,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,197,622.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Roger M. Perlmutter sold 225,443 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.27, for a total transaction of $16,969,094.61. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 366,998 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,623,939.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 1,279,104 shares of company stock valued at $92,845,846 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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About Merck & Co., Inc.
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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