Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Stock analysts at Leerink Swann increased their Q4 2016 earnings per share estimates for Merck & Co. in a research report issued on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now anticipates that the brokerage will post earnings per share of $0.96 for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.95. Leerink Swann has a “Market Perform” rating and a $65.00 price target on the stock.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 earnings per share.

Earnings History and Estimates for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group cut their price objective on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Vetr raised Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, July 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.80 ($70.89).

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.363% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.705. 6,295,017 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $170.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.848 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.86. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $62.63 and a 200 day moving average of $58.58.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Roble Belko & Company Inc boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. Finally, First New York Securities LLC NY acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at $121,000. Institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is currently 101.10%.

About Merck & Co.

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MRK

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